Caster Semenya to be allowed to compete after IAAF ruling suspended

South African successful in appeal to Swiss Federal Supreme Court after losing legal against Cas

Samuel Lovett
Monday 03 June 2019 17:51 BST
Caster Semenya trains in Doha, Qatar in May

Caster Semenya will be allowed to compete in races of all distances without medication after the IAAF’s regulations for female athletes with “differences of sex development” (DSD) were temporary suspended by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.

According to her lawyer, the South African has won her appeal against the controversial IAAF ruling, which required her to take hormone suppressants for track events from 400m to the mile to lower her naturally elevated testosterone levels.

Last month the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) ruled in favour of the IAAF’s rule change, but the Swiss Supreme Court has now enforced a suspension which will remain in place until the 28-year-old’s appeal has been finalised.

​The IAAF has until 25 June to respond to Semenya’s application. The Swiss court will make a separate ruling once the governing body has made submissions as to why its regulations should be kept in place.

The Olympian’s lawyer, Gregg Nott, said: “The court today ordered the IAAF to suspend immediately the implementation of the regulation with regard to Caster and has given the IAAF until the 25th of June to respond to the suspense of effect.

“We brought an application for suspension of the regulations which today we learnt was successful.”

After losing her legal case against Cas last month, Semenya struck a defiant tone as she promised to “rise above” the ruling.

She said: “I know that the IAAF’s regulations have always targeted me specifically.

“For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the Cas will not hold me back.

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

But CAS said in a statement: “By majority, the CAS panel has dismissed the requests for arbitration considering that the claimants were unable to establish that the DSD regulations were ‘invalid’.

“The panel found that the DSD regulations are discriminatory, but the majority of the panel found that, on the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the restricted events.”

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