25 February 2019

Africa: Athletics Trio Awaits Ruling On Testosterone Levels

Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
South Africa's Caster Semenya wins silver in the women's 800m finals (file photo).

Pretoria — THE Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is to deliver its ruling on the controversial call to restrict female athletes' testosterone levels, a decision that will have an impact on three athletes in the African continent.

Global sports body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), seeks the court to rule in its favour and against South African Olympic champion, Caster Semenya.

Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and kenya's Margaret Wambui are also facing similar challenges. The week-long hearing court case is expected to end on Friday before the final verdict on or before March 26.

IAAF's case is that athletes with hyperandrogenic or differences of sexual development (DSD) should seek treatment aimed at lowering their testosterone levels below a prescribed amount if they wish to continue competing as women.

It believes such athletes always had huge advantage over "normal female athletes" in the racing field. However, Semenya's legal team and the South African government strongly believe the move is a serious violations on the rights of female athletes.

This has prompted South African Minister of Sports, Thokozile Xasa to travel to Switzerland in a bid to give support to Semenya's case against IAAF.

IAAF's case has also been denounced as racist by local politicians.

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