The Citizen (KZN)

Semenya’s appeal falls on deaf ears

- Wesley Bo on

Middle-distance star Caster Semenya has lost the latest round in her ongoing battle against new internatio­nal athletics rules.

Upholding a decision by the Court of Arbitratio­n for Sport (CAS) which allowed World Athletics to restrict Semenya from competing in her specialist 800m distance, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court confirmed yesterday it had dismissed legal appeals made by Semenya and Athletics South Africa, who had claimed the 29-year-old former world champion’s human rights had been violated.

Fairness in sport was a legitimate concern, according to the court, and measures put in place to test and monitor athletes with difference­s of sexual developmen­t (DSD) were found to “interfere with physical integrity”.

The court did not, however, find that the regulation­s violated “core” human rights.

“It should be noted that examinatio­ns are carried out by qualified doctors and under no circumstan­ces against the will of any female athletes,” the Swiss court said in a statement.

“Ultimately, the CAS decision is also compatible with the guarantee of human dignity. Implicated female athletes are free to refuse treatment to lower testostero­ne levels.

“The decision also does not aim to question in any way the female sex of implicated female athletes.”

Semenya, a two-time Olympic 800m champion, had been suspended from competing over her specialist distance in July last year after losing her appeal at CAS.

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