Caster Semenya poses with her Commonwealth Games gold medal. Photo: Darren England/EPA

PRETORIA – Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation said new regulations by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to have female athletes with naturally high testosterone take medication to lower their levels was an attempt to slow down star athlete Caster Semenya.

The IAAF regulation, which was announced on Thursday, will come to will come into effect from 1 November 2018, and will see changes to eligibility regulations for female classification for the 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 1 500m and the mile.

The IAAF said in a statement that the new rules require athletes who have a “Difference of Sexual Development (DSD)” and who are androgen-sensitive must meet certain criteria to compete in the above events.

Chairperson of the portfolio committee Beauty Dlulane said the regulation was unacceptable and should be challenged by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).

“We have noted this announcement by the IAAF and as the committee, we are appalled and concerned by long-term implications of such a decision.

“This is heavy-handedness on the part of the IAAF and a plan to suspend Caster. This should be challenged.  

“Administration of athletics is a prerogative of the IAAF, but if in hosting competitions, the international body interferes with human rights of athletes, then the sporting community has a right to point that out and be angry,” Dlulane added.

She said the decision bordered on unfairness and could see the IAAF losing its credibility in the eyes of many.

African News Agency (ANA)