Caster Semenya is out at world track cham­pi­onships af­ter new court rul­ing

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - — David Whar­ton, Los An­ge­les Times

Faced with a set­back in Swiss fed­eral court, Caster Semenya has an­nounced that she will not de­fend her 800-me­ter ti­tle at the world track cham­pi­onships this fall.

The court re­versed an ear­lier rul­ing that would have al­lowed the South African run­ner to com­pete while ap­peal­ing a new track fed­er­a­tion rule that forces her and some other fe­male ath­letes to take hor­mone-sup­press­ing med­i­ca­tion.

“I am very dis­ap­pointed to be kept from de­fend­ing my hard-earned ti­tle,” Semenya said in a state­ment. “But this will not de­ter me from con­tin­u­ing my fight for the hu­man rights of all of the fe­male ath­letes concerned.”

The In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions rule tar­gets women with “dif­fer­ences of sex­ual de­vel­op­ment,” mean­ing they have nat­u­ral testos­terone lev­els be­yond the normal fe­male range.

The IAAF claims this con­di­tion, which they es­ti­mate oc­curs in seven of ev­ery 1,000 fe­male run­ners at the elite level, rep­re­sents an un­fair ad­van­tage be­cause testos­terone is re­spon­si­ble for mus­cle mass and strength.

Such ath­letes who com­pete in events rang­ing from 400 me­ters to the mile have been given a choice: Take med­i­ca­tion to al­ter their body chem­istry, change dis­tances or com­pete against men.

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