Belfast Telegraph

Semenya vows to fight on as appeal is filed

 

Caster Semenya
Caster Semenya

By Robert Jones

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 800m Olympic champion's appeal against the introduction of a testosterone limit for women with naturally-occurring high levels of the hormone by athletics' world governing body the IAAF was rejected by CAS 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.

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

Semenya intends to ask the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to set aside the decision of CAS in its entirety. However, it is understood that her best chance of success is if the initial ruling is deemed to be incompatible with public policy.

Dr Dorothee Schramm of Sidley Austin LLP in Geneva is leading Semenya's appeal and said: "The IAAF regulations violate the most fundamental principles of Swiss public policy. In the race for justice, human rights must win over sporting interests."

Semenya's South African lawyer Gregory Nott added: "It is gravely concerning the IAAF has called on doctors to 'clarify' the gender identities of female athletes and justified medical interventions as 'gender-affirming'. Such views are based not in modern science or medicine. Instead, they reflect an outdated and deeply flawed socio-cultural stereotype of what it means to be a woman."

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