Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya
Getty Images

Caster Semenya loses appeal over testosterone rule

Leave a comment

Caster Semenya lost her latest appeal to be allowed to defend her Olympic 800m title without taking testosterone-suppressing measures, the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland announced Tuesday.

“I am very disappointed by this ruling, but refuse to let World Athletics drug me or stop me from being who I am,” Semenya said in a press release. “Excluding female athletes or endangering our health solely because of our natural abilities puts World Athletics on the wrong side of history. I will continue to fight for the human rights of female athletes, both on the track and off the track, until we can all run free the way we were born. I know what is right and will do all I can to protect basic human rights, for young girls everywhere.”

On May 1, 2019, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld a new World Athletics rule that caps athlete testosterone levels in women’s events from the 400m through the mile. Semenya had appealed to CAS hoping it would rescind the rule.

Semenya (and South Africa’s track and field federation) appealed the CAS decision to the Swiss court, which took more than one year to announce its decision. The Swiss court announced Tuesday that CAS had the right to uphold the rule “in order to guarantee fair competition for certain running disciplines in female athletics.”

“The Swiss Federal Supreme Court cannot subject the CAS decision to any free legal control,” according to the Swiss court. “On the contrary, its examination of the content is limited by law to the question of whether the CAS decision violates fundamental and widely recognized principles of public order. That is not the case.”

In March, Semenya announced she switched to the 200m to pursue Tokyo Olympic qualification. Her personal-best 200m time is shy of automatic Olympic qualification.

“My dream has always been, and will continue to be, to compete at the highest level of sport,” was posted on her social media then.

Semenya is a two-time Olympic 800m champion undefeated at the distance since the start of 2016. She and the other two Rio 800m medalists have said they are affected by the rule.

Semenya “is considering all of her options internationally and domestically,” according to Tuesday’s release.

“This setback will not be the end of Caster’s story,” Greg Nott, a lawyer and Semenya’s longtime advisor, said in the release. “The international team [of lawyers and advisors] is considering the judgment and the options to challenge the findings in European and domestics courts. We stand with Caster. We stand united, and united we are strong.”

MORE: Otis Davis honored at Oregon, 60 years after Olympic titles

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Caster Semenya switches track events in Olympic bid

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Caster Semenya, barred from competing in women’s events from 400m through the mile unless she takes testosterone-suppressing measures, is switching to the 200m to pursue Tokyo Olympic qualification, according to her social media.

“My dream has always been, and will continue to be, to compete at the highest level of sport, and so in order to pursue my goals and dreams, I have decided to change events, and compete in the 200m,” was posted on the South African’s channels.

Semenya is a two-time Olympic 800m champion undefeated at the distance since the start of 2016. She and the other two Rio 800m medalists have said they are affected by a new World Athletics rule that would force them to take testosterone-suppressing measures to compete in the 400m, 800m or 1500m.

Semenya’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was unsuccessful.

The move to the 200m became expected after she raced a 300m last month, and, reportedly, a 200m last week in small meets in South Africa. Her reported 200m time of 23.81 seconds is short of the Olympic qualifying standard of 22.80. No South African has run 22.80 since 2008.

“This has not been easy, but anything is possible,” Semenya told media on Friday. “I call myself supernatural, so I can do anything that I want.”

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Caster Semenya listed for first track meet since June

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Caster Semenya is listed as entered in a track meet for the first time since a July court ruling barred her from racing her best events.

Semenya will race a 300m in South Africa on Friday, according to meet organizers. Semenya’s team has not responded to requests for comment, though her social media accounts reposted the meet’s promotional posts with photos of her.

“Back in business,” was posted on Semenya’s social media with an illustration of a race bib with her last name on it.

Semenya can enter a 300m without taking testosterone-suppressing measures. The new World Athletics rule that prohibits Semenya and others spans from the 400m through the mile.

Semenya, the Olympic 800m champion, and the other two Rio 800m medalists have said they are affected by the new rule instituted last year. Semenya’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was unsuccessful.

Semenya previously signed with a South African soccer club with the intent to play competitive matches in 2020. She played the sport in her youth before becoming a world champion in 2009 at age 18.

It remains to be seen if she will still play soccer this year. Or if she will race more on the track. The 300m is not on the Olympic program, but the 200m is. Semenya raced one 200m last year, clocking 24.26 seconds in February, well off the Olympic qualifying standard of 22.80.

Semenya has won 31 straight 800m races dating to 2015, the last coming June 30 at the Pre Classic.

MORE: Tonga flag bearer enters Olympic qualifier with new challenge

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!