Caster prepared to give up world title to fight testosterone ruling

Caster Semenya (Gallo Images)
Caster Semenya (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South Africa's track queen Caster Semenya is ready to sacrifice her 800m world championship title to mount her latest legal fight within weeks of the landmark ruling against her on testosterone-reducing drugs.

READ: Caster Semenya tweets after losing testosterone ruling

Semenya's lawyer told The Daily Telegraph she would continue to defy the enforced medication as the deadline expired on Wednesday, May 8 for athletes with Differences in Sexual Development (DSD) to comply with the new rules in time for the IAAF World Championships in Doha in September.

Semenya also tweeted a picture of a clenched fist with the word "resist".

Following last week's Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling, Semenya now faces a race against time to launch an appeal at the Swiss Federal Tribunal by May 31 to resurrect any chance of competing in Doha.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had set a deadline of Wednesday - exactly one week after the CAS ruling - for DSD athletes to submit samples showing a testosterone level below five nanomoles per litre, which they must maintain over the next 4 and a half months (until the start of the Doha world championships on September 28).

Gregory Nott, one of Semenya's legal representatives, confirmed it was "very safe to say" she would continue avoiding any curbs on her testosterone levels.

Earlier in the week, the IAAF published answers to 12 pertinent questions regarding DSD regulations on its website.

The sporting body clarified that the regulations only applied to DSD athletes who are legally female (or intersex), have male chromosomes (XY) not female chromosomes (XX), testes not ovaries, testosterone in the male range and the ability to make use of that testosterone circulating within their bodies.

"In 46XY DSD individuals, reducing serum testosterone to female levels by using a contraceptive pill (or other means) is the recognised standard of care for 46XY DSD athletes with a female gender identity. These medications are gender-affirming," the IAAF letter said.

As a result of the CAS ruling, Semenya would not be able to compete in distances between 400m and a mile (1 600m) without medicating.

ALSO READ: Caster allowed to participate in men's events - IAAF

The 3 000m is no longer a distance raced at world championship nor Olympics level, leaving Semenya with the 5 000m as her next option.

Semenya did win the 5 000m at the recent ASA Senior Athletics Championships in Germiston which doubled as the SA qualifiers for the Doha world championships.

Semenya is a double 800m Olympic champion having taken the gold medal in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

She is also a three-time 800m world champion, with victories in 2009 in Berlin, 2011 in Daegu and 2017 in London.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
India 325/10 & 69/0
New Zealand 62/10
Voting Booth
What are your views on the World Rugby men's Player of the Year nominations for 2021 not including any Springboks?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
It's a disgrace! Both Siya Kolisi AND Eben Etzebeth should have been nominated!
39% - 5542 votes
Siya, at the very least, should have been included after a superb season
7% - 936 votes
Etzebeth has been SA's best player this year and should feel hard done by
20% - 2886 votes
Get over it! Moaning about this just sounds like sour grapes!
34% - 4724 votes