Last Update 21:59
Monday, 21 October 2019

Athletics: South Africa's Semenya says she is 'unquestionably a woman'

AFP , Thursday 14 Feb 2019
Caster Semenya
Semenya is a two-time Olympic champion (AFP)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1869
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1869

South African 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya on Thursday said she was "unquestionably a woman", after the IAAF denied reports that it would argue that she should be classified as a biological male.

Semenya, 28, issued the statement ahead of a landmark hearing at the Court of Arbitration (CAS) next week that will challenge a proposed rule by the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) aiming to restrict testosterone levels in female runners.

"Ms Semenya is unquestionably a woman. She is a heroine and an inspiration to many around the world," her lawyers said in a statement.

"She asks that she be respected and treated as any other athlete."

The rules would force so-called "hyperandrogenic" athletes or those with "differences of sexual development" (DSD) to keep testosterone levels below a prescribed amount.

The rules were to have been instituted in November 2018 but have been put on ice pending next week's hearings.

Supported by the South African Athletics Federation, the two-time Olympic champion in the 800m (2012, 2016) and three-time world champion (2009, 2011, 2017) has denounced the proposals.

"I just want to run naturally, the way I was born. It is not fair that I am told I must change. It is not fair that people question who I am," she has said previously.

"She looks forward to responding to the IAAF at the upcoming CAS hearing," Semenya's legal team said, adding that "her genetic gift should be celebrated, not discriminated against".

As well as Semenya, the silver and bronze medallists of the 800m at the Rio Olympics, Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Kenya's Margaret Wambui, have also faced questions about their testosterone levels.

"The IAAF is not classifying any DSD athlete as male," the IAAF said in a statement. "To preserve fair competition in the female category, it is necessary to require DSD athletes to reduce their testosterone down to female levels."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 
Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.