Two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya from South Africa has reacted to the ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which upheld the IAAF’s rules designed to regulate testosterone levels in female “athletes with differences of sex development” (DSD).
The 28-year-old 800 metre specialist filed an appeal at CAS to contest the new IAAF regulations which come into force on May 8 but lost.
The new rules state that female athletes with high natural levels of testosterone wishing to compete in events from 400-metres to a mile must medically limit that level to under 5 nmol/L.
The IAAF claims that female athletes with high testosterone levels have an unfair advantage in events from 400 metres to one mile.
Female athletes, like Semenya, with such a high level of testosterone, will no longer be allowed to participate in events unless they reduce their blood testosterone level below five nmol/L for a continuous period of at least six months, according to the IAAF.
“I know that the IAAF’s regulations have always targeted me specifically,” Semenya said in a statement on Wednesday.
“For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.”
Semenya, who is hoping to defend her 800 metres world title in Doha, Qatar in September, will either medicate to suppress her testosterone levels or pull out.
Athletics South Africa has described the new IAAF regulations as ‘apartheid’.