Relief for Dutee, IAAF's new 'gender' policy will not cover her

27 April, 2018, 00:57 | Author: Harriet Bell
  • South Africa's Caster Semenya celebrates winning gold in the woman's 800m final at Carrara Stadium during the

Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa has vowed to help Caster Semenya fight the IAAF regulations that are set to force her to take medication to reduce testosterone levels if she hopes to continue running in her preferred races.

She claimed two silver medals in the women's +90kg category at last year's World Weightlifting Championships in the United States, becoming the first New Zealand competitor to step onto the podium at the event.

The IAAF‚ the governing body of world athletics‚ is piloting new eligibility regulations for a separate female classification to be known as an Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development (or DSDs)‚ which will directly impact on Semenya. "Say, for example, Tintu Luka is our top 800m runner and she may benefit", Sumariwalla said, obliquely referring to South Africa's Caster Semenya.

The IAAF said that from November 1, it will limit entry for all global events from 400 meters to the mile to women with testosterone levels below a specified level. It will come into effect from November 1, 2018.

The party called on the government to challenge the "grossly unfair, unjust and blatant racist attempt" by the IAAF in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

While that decision was a major win for Semenya, it is not likely to count for anything moving forward given that the CAS is not a regulatory authority for world athletics.

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When the IAAF limit was in place, Semenya's times slowed but since its suspension, she has returned to dominance in the women's 800 meters.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe said on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) the governing body must "ensure a level playing field where success is determined by talent, dedication and hard work rather than other contributing factors".

Semenya herself has steered clear of the debate following the publication of the new rules Thursday morning, but unleashed philosophical tweets on her official handle.

This will include hurdles races, 800m, 1500m, one-mile races and combined events over the same distances.

"The latest research we have undertaken, and data we have compiled, show that there is a performance advantage in female athletes with DSD over the track distances covered by this rule", said Dr Stephane Bermon from the IAAF medical and science department.

The ruling seems to target the hyperandrogenic Caster Semenya of South Africa, who is essentially unbeatable in the 800m against women when allowed to compete at her naturally occurring hormone levels. Caster has been subjected to vicious attack and the ANCWL will unapologetically defend her against this attacks even when are smuggled through back door as laws by IAAF.

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