Athletics SA delighted over Semenya’s European court win

todayJuly 12, 2023 36

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Athletics South Africa has expressed its delight at the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling that the decision to impose the Difference in Sexual Development regulations on double 800m Olympic champion, Caster Semenya, was discriminatory and in violation of her human rights.

Semenya approached the European court in 2021 after losing an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Switzerland’s Appeals Court.

The 31-year-old has refused to take testosterone-lowering drugs, which athletes who are classified as having differences in sexual development are mandated to take by the sport’s international federation, World Athletics.

Speaking to the media at the launch of the 2023 Soweto Marathon, Athletics South Africa President, James Moloi, said although they are happy with the decision, they will not comment further on the matter until their lawyers have read the ruling and have a thorough understanding of it as it is written in French.

ASA says it concurs with court’s views that Semenya had not been provided with sufficient institutional and procedural safeguards at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and at the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to have her complaints against the regulations examined effectively and that domestic remedies available to her could not be considered effective in her case.

The association says the ruling has vindicated them.

The decision could see the re-examination of regulations that force some female athletes to artificially reduce naturally high testosterone levels in order to compete top positions.

Amnesty International SA has hailed it as a victory for human rights. Article by Ntsako Mkhari

Written by: Lindiwe Mabena

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