Caster Semenya reacts after winning the gold medal in the 800m at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville
Caster Semenya reacts after winning the gold medal in the 800m at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville
Gideon Sam, president of SACOC, speaks at a media event. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Gideon Sam, president of SACOC, speaks at a media event. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - The challenge to the IAAF’s female eligibility rules is expected to kick up a gear with a Sascoc advisory committee meeting in Cape Town on Wednesday to discuss a battle plan.

The committee is headed by Sascoc’s medical commission chairperson, Dr Phatho Zondi, and includes professionals such as a sports physician, legal counsel, endocrinologist, and a sports scientist. 

Sascoc president Gideon Sam on Wednesday said it needed to get all its facts straight if they were to take on the IAAF on the matter. 

READ MORE: Caster Semenya: It’s all about loving one another, not how you look, speak and run

“As we speak there is a meeting in Cape Town which includes the Sports Department, Sascoc, our high-performance commission and Doctor Patho and some lawyers are sitting around a table,” Sam said in Pretoria.

“They are sitting around a table now and we are saying can we have one voice coming out of this and decide how are we going to approach the IAAF.”

The amended regulations will attempt to regulate women that naturally produce testosterone levels above five nanomoles per litre and are limited to athletes that compete in events ranging from the 400m to the mile.

South Africa’s middle-distance queen Caster Semenya could be affected by the new controversial female classification rules the IAAF introduced on April 26 and will go into effect on November 1.

Athletics SA (ASA) last week threatened to take the IAAF to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if it did not withdraw the amended regulations.

While ASA has been short on details on how it was planning on challenging the IAAF, Sascoc has taken the lead and vowed to back the South African athletics body.

“As the parent body of our member federations, we needed to take the lead from ASA in this case, and are fully supportive of their decision to engage with athletics’ governing body, the IAAF, going forward,” Sam said in a statement last week.

“We were deeply disappointed when the IAAF made their ruling, and we simply can’t stand back and allow Caster’s name to be dragged through the publicity mill yet again. The protection of our athletes and their dignity is of utmost importance.”

Sam said on Wednesday that they needed to handle the matter with decorum when it approaches the IAAF.

IOL Sport

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