Caster Semenya loses appeal over competing without having to alter testosterone levels

Athletics’ world governing body the IAAF has won its legal battle with Caster Semenya over its regulations restricting testosterone levels in women runners in selected events, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has announced.

Caster Semenya and  Athletic South Africa have had their appeal dismissed. Picture: PA
Caster Semenya and Athletic South Africa have had their appeal dismissed. Picture: PA

The two-time Olympic 800 metres champion and Athletics South Africa had claimed the rules, which would force athletes with naturally-occurring high levels of testosterone to take medication to lower them, were unlawful.

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The 28-year-old has one of the various genetic conditions collectively known as differences or disorders of sex development (DSD).

But CAS said in a statement on Wednesday: “By majority, the CAS panel has dismissed the requests for arbitration considering that the claimants were unable to establish that the DSD regulations were ‘invalid’.

“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, 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.”