IAAF takes action to halt order allowing Caster Semenya to run

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

Cape Town - The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has submitted a request to overturn an order allowing South African athlete Caster Semenya to temporarily compete without taking testosterone-reducing medication.

Switzerland's federal supreme court had suspended an IAAF ruling restricting testosterone levels in female runners.

This meant Semenya could continue to compete pending a final judgement.

However, the IAAF announced it its official website on Tuesday that it had submitted its response to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

The IAAF explained why its disorder of sexual differentiation (DSD) regulations should remain in force following a 'superprovisional order' issued by the SFT and received by the IAAF on June 4, 2019.

The IAAF specifically requested:

- Reversal of the order to the IAAF to super-provisionally suspend the implementation of the DSD Regulations in respect of the appellant.

- Dismissal of the appellant's application to suspend the implementation of the DSD Regulations in respect of the appellant pending the outcome of the appeal.

The IAAF statement continued: "The IAAF fully respects each individual's personal dignity and supports the social movement to have people accepted in society based on their chosen legal sex and/or gender identity. However, it is also committed to female athletes having the same opportunities as male athletes to benefit from athletics, be that as elite female athletes participating in fair and meaningful competition, as young girls developing life and sport skills, or as administrators or officials.

"This requires a protected category for females where eligibility is based on biology and not on gender identity. This crucial point was accepted and emphasised by the CAS in its 30 April 2019 decision to uphold the DSD Regulations. To define the category based on something other than biology would be category defeating and would deter many girls around the world from choosing competitive and elite sport after puberty.

"The IAAF will continue to defend its DSD Regulations and the CAS Award in the appeal proceedings before the SFT, because it continues to believe in equal rights and opportunities for all women and girls in our sport today and in the future."

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