As expected, two-time 800m Olympic gold medallist and triple world champion Caster Semenya has filed an appeal of the May 1 CAS decision to uphold the the IAAF’s testosterone rule for DSD athletes.
According to an Inside the Games report, the appeal, which will be considered by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, is being filed based on “fundamental human rights,” claiming CAS’s decision “condones the IAAF’s requirements for unnecessary and unwanted hormonal drug interventions on female athletes despite the lack of any medical protocols and the uncertain health consequences of such interventions.”
Semenya went on to proclaim that “The IAAF will not drug me or stop me from being who I am.”
The current ruling declares that 46 XY athletes with DSD (differences of sexual development) such as Semenya must haven taken steps to lower their testosterone to not more than five nmol/L by May 8 to be eligible to compete in this year’s world championships in Doha in September at any distance from 400m through the mile.
The highly controversial CAS decision provoked vigorous debate on both sides. Some athletes, such as marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe, praised the decision as being necessary to protect women’s athletics, while the World Medical Association condemned the decision as unethical and inhumane. The decision was also criticized by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) and AthletesCAN.
Semenya has indicated she would not consider taking oral contraceptives to lower her naturally high levels of testosterone or consider switching distances to one that is outside the rule’s parameters, such as the 5,000m.
It’s expected that the appeal could take up to six months, which would be too late for Semenya to compete at this year’s World Championships in Doha at the end of September.
Semenya will race the 3,000m at the Pre Classic in Stanford, California on June 30.