SOUTH AFRICA’S FULL SUPPORT FOR CASTER SEMENYA
COURT TO RULE ON WHETHER FEMALE DSD ATHLETES MUST REDUCE THEIR TESTOSTERONE LEVELS BEFORE COMPETING.
The South African (S.A.) government stands firm behind Caster Semenya after a news report claimed that lawyers of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will at court case next week, argue that the athlete be classified as female but also as a “biological male”.
South Africa’s Ministry of Sports has said that they are fully behind the 800m world and Olympic champion who is challenging the proposed rule by the IAAF that seeks to restrict the levels of testosterone in female athletes.
“We have noted the news that have broken out over the past 24 hours, but we want to reiterate our support for Caster. Our stance has always been that someone like Caster who has never injected anything in her body must be allowed to compete‚” spokesperson for S.A. Ministry of Sport, Vuyo Mhaga, told TimesLIVE .
Mr. Mhaga added: “Caster is a person who was born the way she is and there was never at any stage in her life where she said she was a man. The minister (Tokozile Xasa) will be releasing a programme where there is going to be a campaign of support for her.”
In its response, the IAAF has denied the “biological male” claims insisting that the “biological male” claims published in the online edition of The Times are not true and said they were not classifying any athlete with differences in sexual development (DSD) as male.
The global athletics body has declared, however, that they would still want the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to rule whether any athlete with (DSD) must have their high testosterone reduced to female levels, before they compete internationally, for fair competition.
According to the IAAF, however, “if a DSD athlete has testes and male levels of testosterone‚ they get the same increases in bone and muscle size and strength and increases in haemoglobin that a male gets when they go through puberty‚ which is what gives men such a performance advantage over women.”
Semenya‚ Athletics SA‚ the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) As well as the South African government, are set to challenge the IAAF’s eligibility rules that would force DSD runners in women’s categories to have their testosterone levels significantly reduced six months prior to any, local, regional or global competition.