The Olympic women’s 800 meters champion – Caster Semenya should be classed as a “biological male” as per the lawyers for athletics’ governing body, the IAAF. IAAF will argue out a case against South African athlete Semenya before the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) next week to challenge her categorisation as a female athlete.
IAAF will insist in its submission that Semenya is a male athlete, owing to her biological and genetical make-up. According to a report in The Times, lawyers for the athletics’ international body will argue that the 28-year-old Semenya should be allowed to compete in women’s events if, as transgender athletes do, she takes testosterone suppressants.
The landmark hearing which will take five days will be based on Semenya’s ‘Difference of Sex Development’ (DSD) and how it impacts on the transgender athletes.
It is also believed that the case is set to further polarise views over whether Semenya and other DSD runners should be forced to take testosterone blockers, usually a contraceptive pill.
Interestingly, the result of the 800m final at the Rio 2016 Olympics summed up the difficulty of the issue. As well as race winner Semenya, silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and bronze medallists Margaret Wambui of Kenya, have also faced questions about their testosterone levels.
Semenya, who completed the 800-1500 double at the Commonwealth Games this month, responded to the new rules on Twitter: ‘I am 97 per cent sure you don’t like me but I’m 100 per cent sure I don’t care.’