Semenya files appeal to Switzerland's highest court
Two-time Olympic 800 meters champion Caster Semenya has filed an appeal to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court on Wednesday against the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision to uphold testosterone regulations for some female athletes in track and field.
In her appeal to the highest court in Switzerland, the South African runner challenged the recently-introduced International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules requiring middle-distance female athletes with a high natural level of testosterone to reduce it via medication.
After lodging the appeal, the 28-year-old said in a statement, "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 also added that she will ask the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to set aside CAS's decision in its entirety.
Earlier, Semenya lost an appeal to the CAS on May 1 which ruled the IAAF's rules were necessary for athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) in order to ensure fair competition.
In his press statement, CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb had mentioned, "By majority, the CAS panel has dismissed the request for arbitration considering that Caster Semenya and ASA (Athletics South Africa) were unable to establish that the DSD regulations were invalid."
Under the controversial IAAF regulations, which came into effect on May 8, women athletes with high natural levels of testosterone in events between 400 meters and a mile (about 1.6 kilometers) must medically bring down that level to under five nanomole/liter, double the normal female range of below two nanomole/liter.
Semenya has already rejected that she will not take medication to comply with the regulations but she has also vowed to continue to run in her pet event – the 800 meters.
Her last competitive 800 meters race victory came at a Diamond League meeting in Doha on May 3. However, her target of returning to Qatar to defend her world title in September has been jeopardized as the IAAF regulations will not allow her to compete without taking medication.
(Cover: Caster Mokgadi Semenya of South Africa with the Diamond League Champions trophy after winning the women's 800m in Zurich, Switzerland, August 30, 2018. /VCG Photo)