With four days to go, Athletics South Africa has re-affirmed its total commitment to back and fight alongside Caster Semenya and other affected female athletes when the two parties appear next week before the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland to challenge the IAAF’s regulations relating to the eligibility criteria for elite women athletes with increased naturally occurring testosterone levels.
CAS will hear evidence from 18-22 February 2019. An outcome is expected on or before 29 March 2019.
South Africa’s double-barrel appeal was triggered by an announcement made by the IAAF in April 2018 to introduce new regulations relating to the eligibility of female athletes with hyperandrogenism (higher than normal levels of testosterone) to participate in international events.
The regulation wants to prohibit individuals from competition unless their testosterone levels are reduced through medical intervention to what the IAAF described as “acceptable levels” and to “level the playing fields” and “avoid them having an undue advantage over their rivals”.
The implementation of the regulations, which had been scheduled by IAAF to take effect from 1 November 2018, was suspended by CAS on 10 October 2018 (following a challenge by ASA) in a directive that puts them on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.
ASA is appalled by the reports published in the UK media that the IAAF intends to submit to CAS that Caster Semenya should be classified as “biological male”. ASA notes that such reports have since been denied by the IAAF lawyers.
ASA reaffirms its unqualified support for Caster Semenya and athletes who may be affected by the IAAF DSD Regulations. ASA has a duty to do so.
ASA wishes to express its gratitude to the South African government and SASCOC for supporting the legal challenge against these regulations.
As South Africans, we all have a constitutional obligation to contest any infringements of human rights, shaped by our experiences under apartheid.
The ASA/Semenya challenge is led by appointed legal and medical teams which are fully supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation, and SASCOC.
- Please note: Until further notice, ASA will not be taking any interviews over the matter. No provision, as well, will be made for broadcast soundbites.
Issued By: ASA