LAUSANNE - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) would not comment on the pending legal wrangle between middle-distance athlete Caster Semenya and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
In our attempt to get some clarity regarding the process, the CAS has denied Independent Media’s request for an interview and a visit to its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“We are unable to give interviews related to the Caster Semenya/IAAF matter since the procedure is ongoing,” a CAS spokesperson said. “I realise this is disappointing but our first priority is to protect the integrity of our arbitration procedures.”
The CAS said it was unable to accept visitors to the chateau as hearings were being held at the headquarters every day this week and were of a confidential nature. Semenya’s legal team last month filed a legal challenge to the IAAF’s contentious female classification rules.
The IAAF introduced a new policy in April attempting to regulate women who naturally produce testosterone levels above 5 nanomoles per litre of blood. For now, the regulations are limited to athletes competing in events from 400m to the mile. The global athletics governing body’s amended regulations would go into effect in November and would require female athletes to maintain testosterone levels to below 5 nanomoles per litre for a continuous period of at least six months.
Semenya is set to compete in the 1500m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday night, just a stone’s throw away from the CAS. She has quietly gone about her business with the exception of a few quotes her lawyers included in the statement announcing the challenge to the rules. She clocked the fourth fastest 800m time in history in Paris over the weekend when she raced to victory in 1:54.25.