The South African athlete will not be able to defend her 800m title at the world championships in September, after the Swiss Federal Tribunal reversed a ruling that temporarily lifted the regulations imposed on her.
“Since I have been in sport, I have never really felt supported. I’ve never felt recognised (mostly) by women,” said Semenya during a women’s conference in Joburg on Wednesday, where she was the headline speaker.
Semenya is appealing the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) ruling that supported regulations introduced by the sport’s governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations. Despite the IAAF receiving support from some current and former athletes, the decision to reduce testosterone levels in women’s athletics also attracted criticism from human rights organisations.
The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in support of Semenya in March.
“I think it comes more into the international stage when you see your own rivals come with this...what can I call it? These rude responses in terms of me competing against them,” said Semenya.
She was greeted by cheers at the event. Semenya said still saw herself as a middle-distance runner. “Whoever is going to stop me from running is going to have to drag me off the track.”
The 28-year-old said she was undecided about whether she would switch to longer distances or pursue a career in another sport.
“In terms of changing events, I haven’t made a decision yet. I still consider myself a middle-distance runner.”