Semenya can run in world c'ships regardless of ruling

LONDON • A delay in the verdict on Caster Semenya's landmark ruling over testosterone levels will not affect her participation at the World Championships in September.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport was due to make a ruling on the case brought by the South African runner on Tuesday, but said that it will now be postponed until the end of next month owing to additional submissions.

If the International Association of Athletics Federations, athletics' world governing body, wins the case, female athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) would then have to take testosterone blockers for six months before they compete.

They will be required to reduce their blood testosterone level to below 5nmol/L for that period and maintain it continuously.

The delay means it will be only be five months from the ruling until the start of the World Championships in Doha, where Semenya, 28, is due to defend her 800m title.

The IAAF said it would have a transition provision where DSD athletes would need to start taking blockers only one week after the final ruling, assuming it is in its favour, and can compete in Doha.

"The IAAF has decided that the delay should not prejudice the affected athletes," it said.

"Assuming the regulations are upheld, the IAAF will introduce a transitional provision by which affected athletes who comply with the 5nmol/L limit, starting one week after the release of the award, will be eligible for the World Championships."

If Semenya wins, she and other DSD athletes would not have to take the blockers and would be able to compete with the kind of testosterone levels usually found in male athletes.

The IAAF's case is that some DSD athletes have male XY chromosomes and male organs, such as internal testes, which produce testosterone and give them an unfair advantage in women's competition of five per cent or more.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2019, with the headline 'Semenya can run in world c'ships regardless of ruling'. Subscribe