Caster Semenya received notice that the Switzerland Federal Supreme Court had dismissed her appeal and reacted with grace.
South Africa (09 September 2020) – Caster Semenya has taken the high road even after being told the only way she may compete is if she alters her body using hormone suppressants.
In April 2018, the IAAF announced new rules that required hyperandrogenous athletes to take medication to lower their testosterone levels, effective from the beginning of November 2018. Due to the narrow scope of the changes, which applied to only those athletes competing in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m, many people thought the rule change was designed specifically to target Semenya.
On 19 June 2018, Semenya announced that she would legally challenge the “unfair” IAAF rules, and her legal hearing began on 18 February 2019. On 1 May 2019, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected her challenge, paving the way for the new rules to come into effect on 8 May 2019.
Her latest appeal in the battle to protect her body and career went all the way to Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court. They recently dismissed her appeal, meaning that Caster would either have to comply with the rules by the IAAF and take drugs to lower her testosterone or end her career.
“Chills my people. A man can change the rules but the very same man can not rule my life. What I’m saying is that I might have failed against them the truth is that I have won this battle long ago. Go back to my achievements then you will understand. Doors might be closed not locked.” – Caster Semenya
Caster has reacted with grace and poise, showing that she will not be told how to live her life nor will she be told how to treat her body.
Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has spoken out and calls for South Africans and the rest of the world to stand in solidarity with Caster Semenya.
“As the Government of democratic South Africa, a country renowned for its tradition of promoting and protecting basic human rights, together with Athletics SA, we will study the judgment and consider various options and avenues at our disposal in our collective campaign to fight this injustice,”
“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”