20 February 2019

South Africa: Semenya Vs IAAF Case Continues

Photo: Sport Now/YouTube
South Africa's two-time Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya arrives at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday February 18, 2019.

South Africans and the international community have been urged to continue supporting the naturally superior Caster Semenya, as she continues to fight for her career at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in Switzerland.

South Africa's 800-metre double Olympic champion is appealing a new set of regulations from the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).

It wants women athletes with a testosterone level above five nanomoles per litre to undergo hormone therapy to reduce their levels.

Only then will they be eligible to take part in international competitions.

Semenya lodged an appeal against the new regulations, which were scheduled to come into effect in November 2018, delaying their implementation until the appeal has been resolved, which is expected on 26 March 2019.

The case is being heard behind closed doors until Friday.

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation, Beauty Dlulane, said the IAAF's insistence on changing the regulations will lead to many people viewing it as a discriminatory world sporting organisation.

"There has to be justification in what the IAAF is proposing because as things stand it appears they just want to slow Caster [down]. For as long as Caster has competed, it has been the IAAF's intention to change the regulations in order to disadvantage her."

The IAAF's actions towards Caster Semenya and other female athletes in Africa should be rejected with the contempt they deserve, said Dlulane who emphasised the importance of denouncing racism and sexism in the sport.

The portfolio committee called on the world, including every South African, to support Semenya during this week's hearing of the appeal against the regulation.

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