Shannon Rowbury concerned about Caster Semenya racing in Rio

Shannon Rowbury
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EUGENE, Ore. — American 1500m record holder Shannon Rowbury has serious concerns about South African Caster Semenya competing at the Rio Olympics.

The Olympic 800m silver medalist Semenya, who was suspended for nearly a year in 2009 and 2010 following gender tests, has this spring posted the world’s fastest 800m times since 2012.

Last July, the Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended for two years a 2011 IAAF ruling that regulated women’s testosterone levels for competition eligibility.

Rowbury will not race the 800m in Rio, but Semenya could race the 1500m. Rowbury hopes that she doesn’t.

“It challenges and threatens the integrity of women’s sports to have intersex athletes competing against genetic women,” Rowbury told media at the Olympic Track and Field Trials on Thursday, after advancing to Friday’s 1500m semifinals. “I think Caster is a wonderful person, I have nothing against her, but I think we already have an established precedent of men’s sports and women’s sports. I think we need to honor that. Women have fought far too long to be able to even have the right to compete, and now it’s being challenged by intersex and trans athletes, and I don’t think that’s right.”

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