Don't criticise athletes too fast: Coe

DURBAN • International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe warned against casting aspersions on athletes, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling that testing on female athletes taking testosterone suppressants be suspended.

The Briton attended the final day of the African Athletics Championships in Durban on Sunday, where South African star Caster Semenya completed a golden treble.

The 25-year-old won the 1,500 metres title two days ago, before racing to victory in the 800m and anchoring the 4x400m relay team to first place.

"The CAS over a year or so ago looked at this issue, but we have a year in order to represent our case to the CAS," Coe said.

"I don't like to see any athlete in any discipline under sensitive situations being demonised. We are talking about human beings here.

HOLD YOUR HORSES

I don't like to see any athlete in any discipline under sensitive situations being demonised. We are talking about human beings here.

SEBASTIAN COE, IAAF president, on the CAS suspending testing on women taking testosterone suppressants.

"As the president of this federation, that is how I want to conduct these discussions."

Some have recently related Semenya's stellar performances - including the rare feat of winning the 400m, 800m and 1,500m at the South African Championships in April - to last year's CAS ruling.

"At the moment we are reassessing the view that the CAS took - we will do this calmly and we will do it collectively," Coe said.

"We'll do it with the right diligence and the right approach and we will see where that gets to next year."

Asked for her thoughts on the issue, Semenya said the ruling had no bearing on her.

"I don't have time for that. I am an athlete. I focus more on the issues that concern me - training and performing," Semenya said.

"Whatever is happening is not part of me so I cannot comment on those issues."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2016, with the headline 'Don't criticise athletes too fast: Coe'. Print Edition | Subscribe