IAAF regulations do not empower anyone – Semenya legal team

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JOHANNESBURG, February 19 – The legal team of South Africa’s Caster Semenya have said the women’s world 800m world and olympic champion will fight the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)’s intention to introduce new eligibility regulations for female runners in athletics.

The IAAF said in a statement on Monday:

“The female category in sport is a protected category. For it to serve its purposes, which include providing females opportunities equal to males, it must have eligibility standards that ensure that athletes who identify as female but have testes, and testosterone levels in the male range, at least drop their testosterone levels into the female range in order to compete at the elite level in the female classification.

“This standard is necessary to ensure fair competition for all women.”

Semenya’s legal team – Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa released the following statement:

“Ms Semenya believes that she and other women affected by the regulations should be permitted to compete in the female category without discrimination, and celebrated for their natural talents as are all other athletes with genetic variations.

“The IAAF’s regulations do not empower anyone. Rather, they represent yet another flawed and hurtful attempt to police the sex of female athletes. Ms Semenya’s courage and perseverance in her fight to run free is an inspiration to young athletes in her home country of South Africa and around the globe.

“A team of leading independent experts covering a diverse range of expertise will provide evidence in support of Ms Semenya’s case.” (ANA)