Semenya seeks clarity over Rabat 800m snub

CAPE TOWN • Caster Semenya has been denied participation in her favoured 800m race in Morocco, the athlete said on Thursday, despite Switzerland's highest court rejecting an IAAF request for eligibility regulations to be reimposed on the South African.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regulations say athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) can race in distances from 400m to a mile - only if they take medication to reduce their naturally-occurring testosterone levels.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) temporarily lifted the regulations affecting Semenya until June 25.

But it could extend that further after hearing submissions from the IAAF and Athletics South Africa over an appeal against a May 1 Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) award upholding the rules.

The IAAF wanted the regulations reinstated against the 28-year-old immediately, but this was rejected by the SFT, according to the South African's lawyers.

However, her request to race in Rabat this weekend has been denied by the Royal Moroccan Athletics Federation, without reasons being given. It did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Her lawyers said in a statement on Thursday that she was seeking clarity over this apparent "violation" of the SFT order.

The IAAF has told Reuters it does not organise the Diamond League events and has no say on whom the organisers invite.

Semenya, a two-time Olympic 800m champion, had toyed with the idea of boycotting the event in solidarity with other athletes affected by the regulations, but said she had decided that running was the best form of protest.

"No woman should be subjected to these rules," she said.

"I will run now to show the IAAF that they cannot drug us."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2019, with the headline 'Semenya seeks clarity over Rabat 800m snub'. Print Edition | Subscribe