Landmark moment as CAS rules against Semenya to compete freely on world stage

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 1 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Wednesday ruled against South Africa’s Caster Semenya’s challenge against new IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) rules about the levels of testosterone in the body.

Semenya, who went through this same controversy years ago and won her case, had a team of experts challenging the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruling.

The world athletics body was trying to force what they term  “hyperandrogenic” athletes or those with “differences of sexual development” (DSD) to seek treatment to lower their testosterone levels below a prescribed amount if they wish to continue competing as women.

The IAAF has been adamant that the moves are necessary to create a level playing field for other women athletes.

Semenya, who is a double Olympic champion and has elicited great sympathy around the world with this particular case, has been the dominant figure on the track over the last 10 years, especially the women’s 800 metres.

Semenya had decided to take her case to CAS, the world’s top sports court, which said it would announce a decision in March before the parties both filed additional documents, thereby delaying any finality on the situation.

Her lawyers said that the IAAF is interfering with natural genetic variations of normal female athletes.

Under the proposed new rules which apply to women’s events between 400m to the mile, athletes classed as having DSDs (Differences of Sexual Development) must reduce their blood testosterone level to below five (5) nmol/L for six months before they can return to the track.

Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin — which affects endurance and strength.

– African News Agency (ANA)