Semenya sponsor Discovery backs 'national hero', says ruling unfair

Caster Semenya (Getty Images)
Caster Semenya (Getty Images)

Discovery, Africa’s biggest health insurance company, has said it remains “resolute” in its support of Caster Semenya, the two-time Olympic 800-meter track champion who is an ambassador for its Vitality fitness and health programme.

On May 1 the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that female track athletes with naturally elevated testosterone levels must suppress the hormone to be allowed to compete in certain events, in a case Semenya has said was targeted at her.

We "proudly stand behind Caster Semenya as an athlete, national hero, and brand ambassador," Firoze Bhorat, Discovery’s chief marketing officer, said.

"We believe that no one should have their identity questioned."

On Thursday Semenya sent out a series of tweets suggesting that she may quit but at the same time filed a late entry for Friday’s Doha Diamond League track event. That would be the last time she can run her favorite distance before the new rules kick in.

We are "reeling in shock at how a body held in high esteem like CAS can endorse discrimination without flinching," Athletics South Africa said in a statement.

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