Tokyo 2020 looks unlikely for Caster Semenya as she loses her testosterone rules appeal - Women's Running

Tokyo 2020 looks unlikely for Caster Semenya as she loses her testosterone rules appeal

Author: Holly Taylor

Read Time:   |  September 9, 2020

Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya seems to have lost her lengthy legal battle with World Athletics

800m double-Olympic champion Caster Semenya appears to have lost her long legal battle against new hormone regulations that require women with high levels of testosterone to take medication to suppress this if they want to compete internationally in 400m, 800m or 1500m races.

The regulations were introduced based on World Athletics’ 2018 policy for athletes with ‘differences of sex development’, deemed necessary to ensure fairness in women’s sport. Semenya, who competes in all three of the affected distances, began legally challenging the rule in June 2018 in a series of appeals, the latest of which has been dismissed by a Swiss tribunal which stated that the testosterone regulations could “not be challenged”.

This fresh loss will come as a blow to Semenya, who said last year that the ongoing case had “destroyed” her “mentally and physically”. It’s also taking its toll on her career, as it now looks unlikely that she’ll be able to defend her title at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

She responded to the tribunal’s decision by accusing World Athletics of being “on the wrong side of history”, and maintained her position of refusing to “let World Athletics drug [her] or stop [her] from being who [she is]”.

World Athletics made the following statement about the tribunal ruling: “World Athletics has always maintained that its regulations are lawful and legitimate, and that they represent a fair, necessary and proportionate means of ensuring the rights of all female athletes to participate on fair and equal terms,” it said. “It has rejected the suggestion that they infringe any athlete’s human rights, including the right to dignity and the right to bodily integrity.”

Written by

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor is the digital editor of Women’s Running and co-host of the Women’s Running podcast, where she shares her running journey as well as the inspiring stories of women runners all over the country. She’s never been the sporty type, but running is the first time she’s felt real joy in getting active. She loves talking about running with a community of inclusive and supportive runners, and Women's Running is the perfect space for this. She's currently aiming for a half marathon PB!

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