The IAAF has hit out at UN Human Rights Council over the Caster Semenya issue. Photo: Darren England/EPA

JOHANNESBURG - The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Sunday released a statement attacking the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) after it issued a resolution warning any new female classification rulings could infringe on international human rights.

The UNHRC aimed to ensure countries and organisations: "Refrain from developing and enforcing policies and practices that force, coerce or otherwise pressure women and girl athletes into undergoing unnecessary, humiliating and harmful medical procedures.

Athletics SA (ASA) and Caster Semenya are currently awaiting the outcome of the arbitration proceedings filed by Semenya and ASA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) held in Lausanne, Switzerland, on February 18 to 22 concerning the IAAF Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athletes with Differences of Sex Development). 

The decision was originally scheduled to be delivered on the March 26, but after the IAAF filed late submissions to cause amendments to be made to the regulations, Semenya and ASA had to respond thereto with the result that a decision is now expected at the end of April.

The IAAF said in a statement:

"It is clear that the author is not across the details of the IAAF regulations nor the facts presented recently at the Court of Arbitration," the IAAF said.

"There are many generic and inaccurate statements contained in the motion presented to the Human Rights Council so it is difficult to know where to start.

"The common ground is that we both believe it is important to preserve fair competition in female sport so women are free to compete in national and international sport.

"To do this, it is necessary to ensure the female category in sport is a protected category, which requires rules and regulations to protect it, otherwise we risk losing the next generation of female athletes, since they will see no path to success in female sport.” 

African News Agency (ANA)