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Caster Semenya appeals testosterone rule again with defiant statement

Caster Semenya

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 13: Caster Semenya of South Africa looks on prior to competes in the Women’s 800 metres final during athletics on day nine of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on April 13, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

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Caster Semenya has appealed a court ruling that is barring her from racing in her best events without reducing testosterone levels.

“I am a woman and I am a world-class athlete,” Semenya, a two-time Olympic 800m champion, said in a press release. “The IAAF will not drug me or stop me from being who I am.”

On May 1, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld an IAAF rule that puts a cap on athlete testosterone levels in women’s events from the 400m through the mile. Semenya had appealed to CAS hoping it would rescind the new IAAF rule.

Semenya said later that week that she would not take testosterone-reducing medication to stay eligible for this fall’s world championships in the 800m. Semenya is entered in a 2000m and a 3000m, events outside the new rule, in June meets.
Semenya’s new appeal to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland focuses on fundamental human rights.

“The court will be asked to consider whether the IAAF’s requirements for compulsory drug interventions violate essential and widely recognized public policy values, including the prohibition against discrimination, the right to physical integrity, the right to economic freedom, and respect for human dignity,” according to the press release. “The CAS decision condones the IAAF’s requirements for unnecessary and unwanted hormonal drug interventions on female athletes despite the lack of any medical protocols and the uncertain health consequences of such interventions.”

South Africa’s track and field federation previously indicated it would appeal the CAS ruling.

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