All you need to know about Caster Semenya's battle with IAAF and the Swiss tribunal - and what it means for her future

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Caster Semenya's Olympic hopes fade as she loses testosterone rules court appeal.
Caster Semenya's Olympic hopes fade as she loses testosterone rules court appeal.
Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

She remains undefeated. Her latest bid to overturn a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) might have been dismissed, but world champion Caster Semenya is not fazed.

The ruling by CAS ordered her to take medication to reduce her natural high testosterone levels before she could compete in sporting events from 400m to 1,500m.

This was for ‘fairness’, CAS said at the time.

Read more | 10 things we love about one of our top women athletes of all time, Caster Semenya

“Based on these findings, the CAS decision cannot be challenged,” the tribunal said.

“Fairness in sport is a legitimate concern and forms a central principle of sporting competition. It is one of the pillars on which competition is based.”

Semenya, who has received unwavering support throughout the years long court battle, responded to the ruling on social media.

"A man can change the rules but the very same man cannot rule my life," she wrote.

"What I'm saying is that I might have failed against them the truth is that I have won this battle long ago." 

See tweet below: 

Read more | Caster Semenya to 'stick to 200m no matter what'

In 2019, Semenya spoke about her ongoing legal battle with World Athletics over its testosterone rules. Her message was clear. 

"Why would I take drugs for? I'm a pure athlete - I don't cheat," she said. 

The International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), ruled that she would have to take medication to reduce the high levels of testosterone in her body as they give her, and other athletes like her, an unfair advantage over other women. 

See the video below:

The World Athletics has welcomed the ruling and stated that they were "very pleased" with the Switzerland high court decision.

"We therefore welcome today’s decision by the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) to uphold our DSD Regulations as a legitimate and proportionate means of protecting the right of all female athletes to participate in our sport on fair and meaningful term," they wrote in a statement

"We are very pleased that the highest court in Switzerland has now joined with the highest court in sport in endorsing World Athletics' arguments." 

What does this mean for her career?

This ruling will make it hard for Semenya to defend her 800m title in the Tokyo Olympics unless she qualifies for the 200m race.  

The three time world champion might still have some tricks up her sleeve. She’s a believer that "[the] doors might be closed [but they are] not locked". 

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