JOHANNESBURG – The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) thanked the Court of Arbitration for Sport for dismissing the appeal of South Africa’s Caster Semenya.
CAS on Wednesday ruled against South Africa’s Caster Semenya’s challenge against new IAAF rules about the levels of testosterone in the body.
“The CAS has dismissed both requests for arbitration,” CAS said in a statement.
The IAAF statement read: “The IAAF is grateful to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for its detailed and prompt response to the challenge made to its Eligibility Regulations for the Female Classification for athletes with differences of sex development, and is pleased that the Regulations were found to be a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF's legitimate aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events."
Semenya, will now be forced to take the testosterone-lowering medication for six months before competing.
Semenya, who went through this same controversy years ago and won her case, had a team of experts challenging the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruling.
The world athletics body was trying to force what they term “hyperandrogenic” athletes or those with “differences of sexual development” (DSD) to seek treatment to lower their testosterone levels below a prescribed amount if they wish to continue competing as women.
“Athletes with 46 XY DSD have testosterone levels well into the male range (7.7 to 29.4 nmol/L; normal female range being below 2 nmol/L),” the CAS statement read.
“The DSD Regulations require athletes with 46 XY DSD with a natural testosterone level over 5 nmol/L, and who experience a “material androgenizing effect” from that enhanced testosterone level, to reduce their natural testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L, and to maintain that reduced level for a continuous period of at least six months in order to be eligible to compete in a Restricted Event.
“Such reduction can be achieved, according to the IAAF evidence, by the use of normal oral contraceptives.”
The IAAF has been adamant that the moves are necessary to create a level playing field for other women athletes.
Semenya, who is a double Olympic champion and has elicited great sympathy around the world with this particular case, has been the dominant figure on the track over the last 10 years, especially the women’s 800 metres.
Semenya had decided to take her case to CAS, the world’s top sports court, which said it would announce a decision in March before the parties both filed additional documents, thereby delaying any finality on the situation.
Her lawyers said that the IAAF is interfering with natural genetic variations of normal female athletes.
Under the proposed new rules which apply to women's events between 400m to the mile, athletes classed as having DSDs (Differences of Sexual Development) must reduce their blood testosterone level to below five (5) nmol/L for six months before they can return to the track.
Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin — which affects endurance and strength.