South Africa: IAAF 'Grateful' to CAS for Testosterone Ruling

Video screenshot of Caster Semenya (file photo).

Cape Town — The IAAF has expressed its gratitude to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for its "detailed and prompt response to the challenge made to its eligibility regulations for the female classification for athletes with differences of sex development".

In a statement released on Wednesday, the IAAF went on to say that it is "pleased that the regulations were found to be a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF's legitimate aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the restricted events".

The IAAF confirmed that the regulations will come into effect on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at which time all relevant athletes (as defined in clause 2.2(a) of the Regulations) wishing to compete in the female classification in a restricted event (as defined in clause 2.2(b) of the Regulations) at an international competition need to meet the eligibility conditions set out in clause 2.3 of the regulations.

As a result, relevant athletes have one week to reduce testosterone levels to within the regulation levels and are encouraged to initiate their suppressive treatment as soon as possible.

Relevant Athletes registered to compete in the IAAF Diamond League Doha on Friday, May 3, 2019 are eligible to compete at that competition (including in restricted events) without decreasing their testosterone level below 5 nmol/L.

South African star Caster Semenya is due to compete in Doha in the 800m - the final time she will be able to do so without reducing her testosterone level.

The eligibility conditions require a relevant athlete to reduce her testosterone levels to below 5 nmol/L for a continuous period of at least six months prior to competition in the female classification in a Restricted Event at an International Competition.

As a special transitional provision to ensure the delay caused by the legal challenge to the regulations does not prejudice relevant athletes, the IAAF will accept that relevant athletes who comply with the 5 nmol/L limit starting on or before May 8, 2019 will be eligible for the IAAF World Championships in Doha in September 2019, assuming they meet the other required eligibility conditions.

By May 8, 2019, relevant athletes seeking eligibility for the IAAF World Championships in Doha must undergo a blood sampling to measure their serum testosterone level (using a mass spectrometry-based method as described in the regulations).

The testosterone concentration obtained from this blood sample must be below 5 nmol/L and remain under this value as long as the athlete is seeking eligibility to compete in the female classification in a restricted event at international competition. Should the athlete show a testosterone concentration (obtained from samples collected pursuant to the athlete's regular testing or from without notice IAAF tests) of 5 nmol/L or above before the IAAF World Championships in Doha, she may be declared ineligible to compete in the female classification in restricted events at those world championships.

For the avoidance of doubt, no athlete will be forced to undergo any assessment and/or treatment under these regulations. It is each athlete's responsibility, in close consultation with her medical team, to decide whether or not to proceed with any assessment and/or treatment.

Source: Sport24

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