LAUSANNE: Caster Semenya’s battle with world athletics’ governing body the IAAF over its gender assessment ruling is set to run and run.
The South Africa cannot now defend her world 800m title at September’s World Championships in Doha after the Swiss Federal Court reversed a temporary decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
CAS, pending a full hearing, had overturned an IAAF rule which would require Semenya – and other middle-distance runners with her issues – to imbibe testosterone-reducing medication.
Earlier the Swiss Court had applied its own temporary stay on the IAAF rule but this has now been overturned after further consideration.
Semenya said: “I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned.”
She has refused to take hormone medication and Dorothee Schramm, the lawyer leading her appeal, said: “The judge’s procedural decision has no impact on the appeal [to CAS] itself. We will continue to pursue Caster’s appeal and fight for her fundamental human rights. A race is always decided at the finish line.”
The IAAF welcomed the latest turn of judicial events.
A statement said:
The IAAF welcomes the Swiss Federal Tribunal’s decision to revoke its Super-Provisional Order of 31 May 2019 after hearing the IAAF’s arguments.
This decision creates much needed parity and clarity for all athletes as they prepare for the World Championships in Doha this September.
In the remainder of the proceedings before the SFT, the IAAF will maintain its position that there are some contexts, sport being one of them, where biology has to trump gender identity, which is why the IAAF believes (and the CAS agreed) that the DSD Regulations are a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of protecting fair and meaningful competition in elite female athletics.