Two-time gold medallist and world champion Caster Semenya will head to the Court of Arbitration (CAS) for Sport today to challenge new International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules.
In April, the athletics body introduced new “eligibility regulations for female classification” that restricted the testosterone levels of for female athletes in the 400m, hurdles, 800m, 1 500m and combined events. Under the rules, athletes who have a “difference of sexual development” would have to ensure their circulating testosterone level remains under 5nmol/L. Athletes who exceeded the limit would have to alter their bodies by medical means if they wished to compete at international events.
The restrictions would severely impact Semenya in particular, who as things stand would be unable compete in the 800m and 1500m without undergoing medical interventions. In a press statement released on Monday, she described them as “discriminatory, irrational, unjustifiable”.
“I am very upset that I have been pushed into the public spotlight again,” she said. “I don’t like talking about this new rule. I just want to run naturally, the way I was born. It is not fair that I am told I must change. It is not fair that people question who I am. I am Mokgadi Caster Semenya. I am a woman and I am fast.”