Semenya set for IAAF court battle

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (AUGUST 23, 2016) (REUTERS) – Caster Semenya will appear at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday (February 18) as her lawyers attempt to overturn an International Athletics Association Federation ruling on testosterone levels.

The IAAF say female middle distance runners who have naturally high levels of testosterone will have to take drugs to reduce those levels before being allowed to compete in races from 400m to one mile.

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

Born in a rural village in South Africa, Semenya won gold in the 800m at both the Rio and London Olympics – but has long faced questions over her gender.

Athletics’ governing body denied this week that it would seek to have Semenya, 28, classified as a man.

In a statement on Wednesday (February 13), the IAAF said: “[We are] not classifying any DSD (Differences of Sexual Development) athlete as male.

“To the contrary, we accept their legal sex without question, and permit them to compete in the female category.

“However if a DSD athlete has testes and male levels of testosterone, they get the same increases in bone and muscle size and strength and increases in haemoglobin that a male gets when they go through puberty, which is what gives men such a performance advantage over women.

“Therefore, to preserve fair competition in the female category, it is necessary to require DSD athletes to reduce their testosterone down to female levels before they compete at international level.”

Associated Links

  • International Athletics Association Federation
  • Hormones
  • Organic compounds
  • Chemistry
  • Gender verification in sports
  • Alkenes
  • Androstanes
  • Estrogens
  • Ketones
  • Caster Semenya
  • Court of Arbitration for Sport
  • Testosterone
  • Semenya

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