President Ramaphosa backs Caster Semenya

Several major brands and international figures have shown their support to Caster Semenya over the past week in response to her ongoing case against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The double Olympic 800 metres champion presented her case against the IAAF at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland last week. This was in response to the body wanting to implement new regulations with regards to female athletes with high testosterone levels.

Appearing before the court on Monday, Semenya argued that the proposed rules, requiring her and other athletes in a similar position to lower their testosterone levels, do not empower anyone.

According to a statement released by her legal team, Semenya said she believes “she and other women affected by the regulations should be permitted to compete in the female category without discrimination” and that they should be “celebrated for their natural talents as are all other athletes with genetic variations”.

The statement also added that the IAAF’s regulations “do not empower anyone. Rather, they represent yet another flawed and hurtful attempt to police the sex of female athletes.”

The following day, President Ramaphosa tweeted the following in support of South African athletics’ golden girl: “Mokgadi. Champion. Beacon of hope. My daughter. This is only to remind you of your greatness; because you constantly remind us that nothing beats the enduring power of the human spirit.”

Ramaphosa also added that “you may run alone on the track, but know now that you run with 57 million & more.”

The CAS is expected to rule on the matter by Tuesday March 26.

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