Caster ‘to sue IAAF, ASA’

2009-12-29 00:00

SOUTH African 800 metre gold medallist Caster Semenya — at the centre of a storm over her sex — is set to sue the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for R910 million and Athletics SA (ASA) for R136 million, according to unconfirmed reports.

Sports journalist Duncan Mackay, writing on the website, reported at the weekend that Semenya has enlisted the services of the firm of lawyers that fought for paralympian Oscar Pistorius to be allowed to compete in the standard Olympics.

The results of gender tests performed on Semenya were due to be announced at the end of November, but the only confirmation surrounding the case was that Semenya would keep the 800 m World Championship gold medal and that more tests must be undertaken before any decision will be taken over her future career in athletics.

Gideon Sam, the president of South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), said they left the decisions with the IAAF and the athlete and are expecting a positive outcome.

But now, however, Semenya is suing.

The case against the IAAF relates to the association’s leak that gender tests were being performed and later letting it be known that the tests found she is intersexed.

To date the identity of the source that Australian journalist Mike Hurst used for his story that first broke the issue is not known, but the trail must lead back to the IAAF testing sub-contractors and that potentially makes the IAAF liable.

Neither the IAAF nor ASA has commented on the website report.

In September, on the recommendation of South Africa’s Sports minister, Semenya retained Greg Nott of law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP to advise her on all legal matters relating to her human rights and her rights as an athlete.

The case against ASA will raise a number of interesting questions, not only because it is said that the federation is listed as a section 21 company, but also how this will impact on the newly appointed board members — especially with rumours that ASA debts already exceed R14 million.

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