The legal battle involving star athlete Caster Semenya and World Athletics will continue at the European Court of Human Rights, her lawyer confirmed on Tuesday.
The Olympic 800m gold medallist’s career has hit dead-end after dead-end in the past two years after the sports governing body introduced new rules that regulate the maximum testosterone levels in women competing in middle-distance running.
Caster Semenya continues bid to restart her career
Having taken another blow in trying to return to competition when the Court of Arbitration for Sports ruled in favour of World Athletics, the 28-year-old is taking the fight to another court.
Her legal representative, Greg Nott made the announcement.
“With growing support from institutions and bodies across the globe‚ we remain hopeful that World Athletics will see the error it has made and reverse the prohibitive rules which restrict Ms Semenya from competing‚” Nott said.
“The increasing number of institutions that have shown their support for Ms Semenya reinforces that it is not acceptable to require a black‚ or any other woman‚ to either have invasive surgery or unethical hormonal treatment to curtail natural biological functions‚ to compete. We remain inspired by Ms Semenya’s indomitable spirit and will remain steadfast in our stand against discrimination until she is allowed to run free from persecution.”
Race to defend Olympic crown
Semenya won the gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and will be one of South Africa’s hopefuls at the 2021 Games in Tokyo. This, however, rests on whether or not the ruling will be overturned in time for her to be able to compete again.
As things stand, she would have to take medication, limiting her testosterone levels to be able to return to the track legally.
The rules which have kept Semenya out of competition apply to female athletes competing in middle distances, which include the 800m – where she won medals in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.