JOHANNESBURG – South African track phenom Caster Semenya on Thursday revealed that her legal challenge to the IAAF’s controversial female eligibility rule was partly to ‘piss off’ the global athletics body.
In a frank conversation with radio presenter Redi Tlhabi at the Discovery Leadership Summit in Sandton, Semenya said her stand was about challenging authority.
“To be honest this is not about me, I’ve achieved everything I want to achieve in life…I was sitting at home thinking I can’t let this thing go on; what about the next generation, it is killing them,” Semenya said. “What about those young girls who still want to run who are in the same situation as I am?
“Someone needs to do something about it, so I told my team we need to fight this thing, enough is enough.
“I just wanted to piss them off a bit, sorry it is just the way I am. I want to show them that what they are doing does not make sense.”
The regulations are limited to athletes who compete in events ranging from the 400m to the mile which was coincidentally Semenya’s best distances.
The IAAF introduced the policy in April and would attempt to regulate women who naturally produce testosterone levels above five nanomoles per litre of blood.
The parties agreed to stay the implementation of the regulations pending the outcome of the proceedings in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which is set for February 2019 with the IAAF expecting a decision by March.
“Once you start classifying women, it is a problem, if you want to classify those in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m, I say okay, then I will move to sprints and see what you can do about it,” Semenya said.
“I will then confuse you again and move back to the middle distances.”@ockertde