EFF asks world to rally in support of Semenya after new rules passed

Caster Semenya (AP)
Caster Semenya (AP)

Newly-passed International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules are a clear attack on South African's star athlete Caster Semenya, the EFF said on Thursday.

"The EFF views the action of [the] IAAF as a deliberate, sexist, racist and anti-African attack on our black female champion," EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.

READ: Caster Semenya claps back at haters

Sport24 reported that, in terms of the new rules, which take effect from November 1, 2018, some female athletes who have testosterone levels that are higher than permitted, will have to take medication to lower their levels.

The news rules directly impact Semenya, who will have to take medication to control her testosterone levels, due to her hyperandrogenism.

Hyperandrogenism is a medical condition that is characterised by excessive levels of male sex hormones, such as testosterone.

Ndlozi said: "These new rules are similar to the infamous apartheid Sobukwe Clause used to keep Robert Sobukwe under incarceration, without trial, for as long as the government wished it."  

READ: IAAF passes new regulations: Semenya forced to lower testosterone levels

He added that, since 2009, when it was found that Semenya had naturally acquired higher amounts of testosterone, she had been subjected to an ordeal, including invasive humiliating procedures never used on men.

"For many years, doping has been considered an illegal method used to enhance performance, yet the IAAF is considering it to help reduce and limit abilities of a black woman," said Ndlozi.

"According to a study published in 2014 by Dolle and other medical experts, it is calculated that seven out of 1 000 elite female athletes may be hyperandrogenic.

"The question therefore is, why is Caster Semenya the only one who is under such scrutiny from the international community and humiliation by the IAAF?

"The EFF calls on all Africans and people of the world to rally in support of Caster Semenya and reject the IAAF for the racist and misogynist organisation it is," said Ndlozi.

READ: ASA responds to IAAF's testosterone ruling

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