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SEMENYA, IAAF LEGAL BATTLES

Caster Semenya Says IAAF Breached Confidentiality Rules

South Africa’s much-admired athletic champion Caster Semenya has said the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) breached confidentiality regulations ahead of her appeal hearing which kicked off on Monday, February 18th.

The appeal, being heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, could change Semenya’s athletic future. Semenya seeks to challenge the IAAF which has proposed that athletes like her who naturally produce high levels of testosterone, be given medication to lower their production of the hormone.

According to Semenya, the IAAF has totally breached all confidentiality rules for the hearing, by releasing names of five expert witnesses they will bring to the court to testify on their behalf as it would influence public opinion.

The IAAF has named Dr Angelica Hirschberg, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, David Handelsman, Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology and Andrology at the University of Sydney, transgender physicist Joanna Harper, Doriane Coleman, a Professor of Law at Duke Law School, and Richard Auchus, a former Professor of pharmacology at the University of Michigan,  as its main witnesses.

 “The arbitration proceedings are subject to strict confidentiality provisions and this information should not have been released. Ms Semenya believes the IAAF press release “is a clear breach of all confidentiality provisions, which has been orchestrated in an effort to influence public opinion.”  Semenya’s lawyers said in a statement on Monday 18th.

The South African female 800m world and Olympic champion’s team is comprised of two Canadian lawyers, Jim Bunting and Carlos Sayao, along with South Africa’s Greg Nott, Patrick Bracher and Sandra Sithole.

The IAAF seeks to win a ruling that makes it necessary for difference in sexual development athletes (DSD) to reduce their testosterone to female levels before they compete internationally in order preserve fair competition. South African government has, however, rallied behind the athlete in her legal battles is going to offer 25m Rand ($3.5m) to foot Semenya’s legal bills, according to the country’s sports ministry.

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