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Tue, June 04, 2019

Caster Semenya allowed to compete with no medication after Swiss court suspends IAAF ruling

Caster Semenya will now be free to compete in all races again without testosterone-reducing medication after the Swiss supreme federal court suspends the new IAAF regulation.

The South African 800m Olympic Champion has been in an ongoing dispute with the International of Athletics Federation over a policy which requires athletes with DSD (Disorders/Differences of Sex Development) to reduce their testosterone levels in distances ranging from 400m to a mile.

Last month Semenya lost the controversial case against the IAAF ruling introduced in April last year. The hearing held at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland concluded in favour of the IAAF, after confirming that female athletes with naturally high testosterone would have significant advantages in size, strength and power.

CAS did however, recognise that the DSD regulations were discriminatory but that that policy was ‘necessary, reasonable and proportionate’ to ensure fair competition in women’s sport. Semenya spoke out after the decision claiming she had been specifically targeted by the regulation and that she would not let it hold her back.

The South African continued to challenge the proposal and defend ‘fundamental human rights’ by subsequently taking the new appeal to the Swiss federal Supreme court. Semenya’s lawyer, Greg Nott confirmed, ‘“The court has ordered the IAAF to suspend immediately the implementation of the regulation with regard to Caster and has given the IAAF until 25 June to respond to the suspense of effect…It is absolutely positive news.”

The athlete is expected to compete in a 2,000m and 3000m races later this month but may now decide to participate in her original 800m heat. Caster commented and thanked the Swiss judges on the recent decision and said, "I hope following my appeal I will once again be able to run free".

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