Sat. Sep 26th, 2020

Swiss Court denies IAAF request to immediately re-impose regulations on Semenya

Caster SemenyaThe IAAF have until 25 June to make submissions to the Court on Semenya’s request that the regulations be suspended throughout the entire appeal.

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The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has rejected the IAAF’s request to be allowed to immediately re-impose its eligibility regulations on Caster Semenya.

In an order issued on 12 June, the Swiss Supreme Court upheld its prior order issued on 31 May in favour of Caster Semenya.

The Supreme Court’s order requires the IAAF to immediately suspend the implementation of its eligibility regulations against Caster Semenya in light of the athlete’s pending appeal.

The court dismissed the IAAF’s request on the grounds that the sporting body failed to provide any reasoning or evidence of a change in circumstances to justify a turnaround in decision.

This means that Semenya remains permitted to compete without restriction in the female category at this time.

The IAAF and Athletics South Africa have until 25 June to make submissions to the Supreme Court on Semenya’s request that the IAAF regulations be suspended throughout the entire appeal proceedings. Until the Supreme Court decides on this request, the IAAF regulations remain suspended against Caster.

Caster expressed concern that the IAAF is unwilling to voluntarily suspend the regulations against all women athletes and revealed that she had considered boycotting 800 metre events.

“No woman should be subjected to these rules. I thought hard about not running the 800m in solidarity unless all women can run free. But I will run now to show the IAAF that they cannot drug us,” she said in a statement issued through her lawyers.

Semenya expressed grave frustration that she has been prevented from competing in the 800 meters at the upcoming IAAF Diamond League Meeting in Rabat on June 16, in an apparent violation of the Swiss Supreme Court’s order.

She was notified on 11 June that the President of the Moroccan Athletics Federation has denied her participation in the 800m in Rabat. Caster is currently seeking clarity on the specific reasons for that decision, and she urges the IAAF to ensure its member federations comply with the law and the Supreme Court’s orders of 31 May and 12 June.

In light of the risk that Semenya will be prevented from competing in the 800m, she has opted to compete in longer distance races. Semenya remains focused on defending her Diamond League title in the 800m though and has sought entry in that event at the Prefontaine Classic in California on June 30.

Semenya challenged the IAAF’s statement that it is committed to the full participation of women in sport and that it respects each individual’s personal dignity.

“I am a woman, but the IAAF has again tried to stop me from running the way I was born,” she said. “The IAAF questions my sex, causes me great pain and required me to take hormonal drugs that made me feel constantly sick and unable to focus for many years. No other woman should be forced to go through this in order to have the same right that all women have – to do what we love and run the way we were born.”

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