Olympic champion Caster Semenya lodges appeal over testosterone ruling

Semenya has filed an appeal to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland challenging the recent ruling against her

File photo dated 01-05-2019 of File photo dated 10-08-2017 of South Africa's Caster Semenya. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 29, 2019. Caster Semenya has filed an appeal to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland challenging the recent ruling against her by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the double Olympic champion has announced. See PA story ATHLETICS Semenya. Photo credit should read Adam Davy/PA Wire.
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Olympic champion runner Caster Semenya has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Switzerland challenging the recent ruling against her by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Semenya's appeal against the introduction of a testosterone limit for women with naturally occurring high levels by the International Association of Athletics Federations was rejected by the sports court on May 1.

The ruling means she and other athletes with similar genetic conditions will have to take hormone suppressants to bring their testosterone down to a level closer to the typical female range.

"I am a woman and I am a world-class athlete," Semenya said after filing her new appeal on Wednesday. "The IAAF will not drug me or stop me from being who I am."

The South African runner, a double Olympic champion, has been fighting measures that compel "hyperandrogenic" athletes, or those with "differences of sexual development", or DSD, to lower their testosterone levels if they wish to compete as women.

A three-judge panel at the sports court said it had "some serious concerns as to the future practical application of these DSD regulations".

"Such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF's aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the restricted events," the court in Lausanne previously said.

The federation insisted the rules were essential to preserve a level playing field and ensure that all female athletes can see "a path to success".

Last month the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution calling the rules "unnecessary, humiliating and harmful".

The federation said DSD athletes with male levels of testosterone "get the same increases in bone and muscle size and strength and increases in haemoglobin that a male gets when they go through puberty".

The two athletes who finished behind Semenya in the Rio Olympics 800 metres, Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Kenya's Margaret Wambui, have also faced questions about their testosterone levels.