IAAF under increased pressure following Semenya ruling

Caster Semenya.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is under increased criticism from academics, campaigners, and doctors following Caster Semenya’s failed bid to stop the introduction of a new testosterone limit for female athletes who want to compete internationally between 400m and a mile.

The South African double Olympic 800m champion confirmed on Wednesday last week that she has filed an appeal against the court of arbitration for sport ruling at the Swiss federal supreme court. In the meantime, however, the testosterone limit is still in place.

According to the Guardian, the International Working Group on Women and Sport, WomenSport International and the International Association of Physical Education for Girls and Women all expressed their “great disappointment” at the ruling. 

In a joint statement, they said they were “particularly unhappy the IAAF decided to enforce the limit immediately after the Semenya verdict this month, which means affected athletes must take testosterone suppressants and submit to regular checks”.

Locally, HeraldLive reports that Athletics South Africa (ASA) on Friday announced that it had joined Semenya’s appeal against the ruling. 

In a statement, the organisation revealed that, once it had received full details of the CAS award, it would also file its own appeal through Swiss lawyers.

The statement further said that “it is [our] collective view that this is discriminatory and in no way do we support a ruling that forces an athlete to take medication that alters their natural state. We believe affected athletes are being penalised for their biological traits, over which they have no control, and that such penalty enforces gender inequality because it does not apply to male athletes.”