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“Discrimination is necessary”: Caster Semenya loses appeal

RULING: Caster Semenya has lost her appeal against the IAAF's new rules on testosterone levels of female athletes

TWO-TIME OLYMPIC champion Caster Semenya has lost her appeal against the International Association of Athletics Federations' new rules to restrict testosterone levels in female athletes.

As a result of the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling, to continue competing as a runner on the international stage, Semenya and other female athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) will have to take medication to lower the amount of testosterone in their systems.

Semenya, 28, and Athletics South Africa requested that the DSD Regulations be declared invalid and void with immediate effect. They argue that they are discriminatory, unnecessary, unreliable and disproportionate. The IAAF contended that the DSD Regulations do not infringe any athlete’s rights, including the right to equal treatment, but instead are a justified and proportionate means of ensuring consistent treatment, and preserving fair and meaningful competition within the female classification.

In a statement, CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb, said: “The panel found that the DSD regulations are discriminatory but the majority of the panel found that on the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties in the procedure such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s objective of preserving the integriuty of female athletics in some track events on international competitions that is from 400m to 1 mile.”

On Twitter, Semenya tweeted a post with the words: “Sometimes it’s better to react with no reaction.”

The athlete has received a lot of support from both her country and fans around the world.

“Is Caster Semenya’s situation not the same as those that are naturally talented? Those that are naturally tall? Should basketball players play on their knees to facilitate short people that want to play? She has not done anything, why is she punished?!” one commenter tweeted.

"#CasterSemenya #Racism as usual. Because her body produces more testosterone than usual, she cannot compete as a woman. It is shown that black people have more testosterones than others ethnic groups. Every time a black woman win we have to make her feel less than a woman," another tweeted.

The IAAF had sought to implement the testosterone restrictions last November but it was delayed following Semenya’s legal challenge. It will now be introduced with immediate effect.

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