CAPE TOWN – Athletics South Africa have opted to take the cautious route in dealing with the IAAF ruling on female classification regulations, which will affect Olympic and world champion Caster Semenya.
Athletics governing body IAAF – the International Association of Athletics Federations – announced on Thursday that athletes who have higher than normal testosterone levels for females and compete in distances from 400m to the mile would have to take medication to lower those levels.
As a result, Semenya will have to move up to 5 000m and 10 000m going forward if she doesn’t appeal the decision.
IAAF president Sebastian Coe said the new regulations “are not about cheating, no athlete with a DSD has cheated. They are about levelling the playing field to ensure fair and meaningful competition in the sport of athletics where success is determined by talent, dedication and hard work rather than other contributing factors”.
Athletics South Africa issued a statement on Thursday afternoon to state that they will consult with Minister of Sport Tokozile Xasa, as well as Sascoc, for guidance on how to approach the ruling.
“Athletics South Africa has taken note of the new classification for females. We want to acknowledge that this process started long ago, up to a point that CAS was involved and ruled and gave guidance on what should be followed by the IAAF,” ASA said.
“ASA further acknowledges that the IAAF Council has the authority to develop rules and regulations as the highest decision-making body between congresses past and future.
“As a federation, we will study the new regulations and compare them with the CAS recommendations to see if they are compatible and in line.
“We will further seek support from the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Sascoc, other expert institutions and relevant organisations or individuals, so that we have a full grasp of this matter and how it should be properly handled.
“Once done, we will then interact with the IAAF. We want to state very clearly that we support all our athletes who may be affected by this new ruling.”