Caster Semenya remains free to compete without restriction

The IAAF has failed in its bid to get a new ruling that would prevent Caster Semenya from competing in the 800m reimposed immediately.

Two-time Olympic 800 metres champion Caster Semenya is challenging the IAAF's decision to introduce restrictions on testosterone levels in female athletes competing at distances ranging from 400m to a mile.   -  AP

Caster Semenya remains free to compete without restriction after the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland (SFT) rejected the International Association of Athletics Federations' request to reimpose a new ruling limiting testosterone in female athletes.

The IAAF regulations say XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) can only race in distances from 400m to a mile if they take medication to reduce their naturally-occurring testosterone levels.

 

The SFT has temporarily lifted the regulations affecting Semenya until June 25 but could extend that further after hearing submissions from the IAAF and Athletics South Africa over an appeal against a May 1 Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) award upholding the rules.

On Tuesday, Semenya stepped up to compete over 2,000 m, dominating the field to triumph at the Meeting de Montreuil. That victory came a day after she was selected in South Africa's preliminary squad for the IAAF World Championships in Doha.

-Denied permission to race in Rabat -

The IAAF wanted the regulations reinstated against 28-year-old Semenya immediately, but this was rejected by the SFT, according to the South African's lawyers. However, her request to race in Rabat this weekend has been denied by the Moroccan Athletics Federation, without reasons being given, despite her eligibility to compete.

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Semenyas lawyers said in a statement on Thursday that she was seeking clarity over this apparent “violation” of the SFT order. The IAAF and the Moroccan Athletics Federation did not did immediately respond to requests for comment.

The IAAF has previously stated that the regulations are designed to provide fair competition in the selected women's events and to safeguard the future of the sport.

Semenya had toyed with the idea of boycotting the 800m in solidarity with other athletes affected by the regulations, but said she had decided that running was the best form of protest.

“No woman should be subjected to these rules,” Semenya said. “I thought hard about not running the 800m in solidarity unless all women can run free. But I will run now to show the IAAF that they cannot drug us.”

Semenya will also apply to race at that distance in the Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California on June 30, where she has already entered the 3,000 metres.

“I am a woman, but the IAAF has again tried to stop me from running the way I was born,” she said.

“The IAAF questions my sex, causes me great pain and required me to take hormonal drugs that made me feel constantly sick and unable to focus for many years.

“No other woman should be forced to go through this in order to have the same right that all women have - to do what we love and run the way we were born.”