Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya files appeal to Swiss court

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Caster-Semenya

Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya has filed an appeal to Switzerland’s federal supreme court in response to losing her case against restricting testosterone levels in female runners.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) had rejected the South African’s challenge against the new rules imposed by athletics’ governing body IAAF.

The 28-year-old said: “I am a woman and a world-class athlete.

“The IAAF will not drug me or stop me from being who I am.”

A statement issued on Wednesday said that Semenya will ask the Swiss court “to set aside the decision of the Cas in its entirety”, and said the focus of the appeal will be on “fundamental human rights”.

Dorothee Schramm, who will be leading Semenya’s appeal, said: “The IAAF regulations violate the most fundamental principles of Swiss public policy. In the race for justice, human rights must win over sporting interests.”

As it stands, Semenya – and other athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) – must either take the medication in order to compete in track events from 400m to the mile, or change to another distance.

“For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision of Cas will not hold me back,” said Semenya, after losing her original appeal earlier in May.

“I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.”

Cas found that the rules for athletes with DSD were discriminatory – but that the discrimination was “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to protect “the integrity of female athletics”.

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