South Africa's Caster Semenya. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
South Africa's Caster Semenya. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Semenya's appeal gaining momentum

By Ockert de Villiers Time of article published May 14, 2019

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Caster Semenya’s fight against the IAAF has gathered momentum, with the government set to approach the UN and Athletics SA (ASA) to appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) ruling on the controversial female eligibility rules.

Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa added her weight to the fightback yesterday, announcing ASA would be filing an appeal at the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

Xasa said the department would “intensify the international lobby and to approach the UN General Assembly to sanction the IAAF for violating International Human Rights Instruments”.

According to the ministry, ASA applied for two of the arbitrators to recuse themselves since they handled the earlier case of Indian sprinter Dutee Chand.

ASA will argue the scientific, medical and legal case they presented before the CAS did not match the outcome.

“The pertinent legal questions that the court should have addressed were not addressed,” the sports ministry said. "The Government will also have to mobilise and educate society on the key arguments and tenets of the case.

“The minister was also pleased with the commitment by ASA to lobby national athletics associations in other jurisdictions to sign a petition, petitioning the IAAF to rescind the regulations and to lobby against the current executive of the IAAF.” The CAS ruled in favour of the IAAF in Semenya’s challenge to the regulations that would require athletes with differences of sex development to lower their testosterone.

Semenya has meanwhile made it clear she would not be complying with the regulations that went into effect last week.

The IAAF said because it was a private body it was not “subject to human rights instruments, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the European Convention on Human Rights”.


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