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  • Caster Semenya to Race in Doha


    05/02/19

    (ATR) Caster Semenya will run in the 800m one more time before the IAAF’s regulations restricting testosterone levels in female runners take effect.

    Caster Semenya may appeal CAS decision (Getty Images)
    Semenya on Thursday entered her name in the start list for Friday’s Diamond League 800m in Doha, the curtain-raiser for the 2019 Diamond League season.

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Wednesday rejected Semenya’s challenge against the IAAF's new regulations on athletes with differences of sex development (DSD), which were due to be introduced last November. The rules are limited to running events from 400m to the mile.

    Semenya, double Olympic Champion and triple World Champion in the 800 meters, competes with high levels of naturally occurring testosterone in her body. Some of her rival competitors have complained that the South African’s hyperandrogenism gives her an unfair advantage on the track. With higher than usual levels of testosterone, Semenya is prone to have more muscle mass, strength and hemoglobin, which benefits her endurance.

    Beginning on May 8, runners will have to meet the testosterone limit and stay under the limit for at least six straight months to be eligible to compete. The IAAF has made an exception to the six-month rule for the world championships since the CAS decision came less than six months before the event begins in late September.

    Semenya will either have to take prescribed medication to reduce her testosterone in order to compete at her events or move to longer distance running starting at 3,000 meters.

    IAAF president Sebastian Coe, speaking in Doha on Thursday at a media briefing for the Diamond League event, commented only briefly on the CAS decision.

    “It is very straightforward for any association in sport. Athletics has two classifications - it has age and it has gender. We are fiercely protective of both. We are really grateful that CAS has upheld that principle.”

    Backed by the South African government, Semenya’s legal team is considering an appeal to the verdict of sport’s highest court. CAS says an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal must be filed within 30 days of the ruling.

    Written by Gerard Farek

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