Caster Semenya loses latest round of legal battle against rules to limit female athletes’ testosterone levels



Caster Semenya has lost the latest round of her long legal battle against rules to limit female runners’ testosterone levels.

Switzerland’s supreme court said its judges had dismissed Semenya’s appeal against a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling last year that upheld the rules drafted by World Athletics affecting female runners with differences of sex development.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal said CAS “had the right to uphold the conditions of participation issued for female athletes with the genetic variant ‘46 XY DSD’ in order to guarantee fair competition for certain running disciplines in female athletics”.

Semenya said: “I am very disappointed by this ruling, but refuse to let World Athletics drug me or stop me from being who I am. Excluding female athletes or endangering our health solely because of our natural abilities puts World Athletics on the wrong side of history.

“I will continue to fight for the human rights of female athletes, both on the track and off the track, until we can all run free the way we were born. I know what is right and will do all I can to protect basic human rights, for young girls everywhere.”

Lawyers for Semenya said she was “considering all of her options internationally and domestically”, adding: “The Swiss court dismissed the appeal despite finding that the World Athletics regulations seriously violate Caster’s physical integrity because the required hormonal drug intervention is not medically indicated, has negative health effects and is not based on the athlete’s free consent.”

The ruling prevents Semenya defending her Olympic 800-metre title at the Tokyo Games next year, or competing at elite level at distances from 400 meters to the mile, unless she agrees to lower her testosterone level through medication or surgery – something she has repeatedly refused to do.

The federal court said it was limited to examining “whether the CAS decision violates fundamental and widely recognised principles of public order. That is not the case”.

Its judgment came more than a year after the two-time Olympic champion lost a previous CAS case.

That July 2019 verdict overturned a temporary ruling which briefly allowed Semenya to compete in the 800m without taking testosterone-suppressing drug



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