South African athletics star, Caster Semenya was dealt a blow at the Swiss Federal Supreme Court this week when her appeal against rules that require her to undergo hormonal therapy was dismissed…
The SA Government subsequently issued a call to the local and international community to rally behind her.
Caster Semenya has elevated testosterone levels which are naturally produced. The international athletics body, World Athletics, determined that this gives her an added advantage over her competition.
World Athletics implemented rules which require athletes with high testosterone levels to take hormonal treatment to lower the testosterone in order for them to compete.
Semenya refuses to interfere with her natural make-up.
This means that she cannot participate in World Athletics competitions and will not be able to defend her title at the Tokyo Games next year.
Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa reacted to the ruling in a press statement: “We call upon all South Africans, Africans and the entire world to rally behind Caster in our quest to defeat injustice against Women in Sport and in particular African Women.”
Mthethwa called the latest court decision “unfortunate and offensive” to the rights of athletes with the hyperandrigenism, the condition characterised by higher than usual testosterone levels.
He said: “We will study the judgement and consider various options and avenues at our disposal in our collective campaign to fight this injustice.”
Athletics South Africa, ASA, called the dismissal of Semenya’s appeal “sad”.
“Athletics South Africa had along contended that the regulations were highly discriminatory against athletes such as Caster Semenya and that the data relied upon to formulate the regulations were irregularly obtained, tainted and unreliable.”
ASA plans to engage Minister Mthethwa about taking the matter forward.
Semenya seems unshaken by the outcome and tweeted: “Chills my people, a man can change the rules but the very same man cannot rule my life.”
The public showed its support for Semenya on social media.
Whoever wins the women’s 400m next year, won’t really deserve it in my opinion. The decision to remove Caster Semenya for a biological advantage to make others more comfortable is a joke.
— Polo?????????? (@Dub___) September 10, 2020
i have been angry on caster semenya’s behalf since this garbage began in 2009. imagine wasting more than a decade – more than a third! – of your life fighting people who are too small to let you be excellent in the face of their failings.
— adwoa gyimah-brempong (@theonlyadwoa) September 10, 2020
What’s happening to Caster Semenya is the rudest and most disrespectful thing I’ve ever witnessed ?
— ~ (@xmissfxx) September 10, 2020
I am beyond furious at what has been done to Caster Semenya. I can’t put it into words or talk about it. So much wrong.
— ⚫ Jude Seal (@JudeSeal) September 10, 2020
Caster Semenya is a phenomenal Athlete a world class winner and should be respected as one, they say she’s too fast and should be DRUGGED! To slow her down, why not drug everyone else to catch her? Oh wait that’s not allowed.
— Steve P (@steviep5638) September 10, 2020