The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has released a statement in which it says it will seek a swift reversion of the Swiss court ruling, that allows South African champion Caster Semenya to compete without taking the medication to lower her natural testosterone level.
On May 1, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) ruled in support of the IAAF position on the matter. CAS ruled on the “IAAF Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athletes with Differences of Sex Development)” commonly known as DSD Regulations. Part of the ruling read, “The Panel found that the DSD Regulations are discriminatory but the majority of the Panel found that, on the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events.”
In its ruling the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) said Semenya will be allowed to compete in the 800 metres event without taking medication.
In response to the SFT’s ruling the IAAF said in a statement that it would seek a “swift reversion of the superprovisional order… to avoid serious confusion amongst athletes and event organisers and to protect the integrity of the sport. In due course, the IAAF will defend its DSD Regulations and the CAS Award in the appeal proceedings before the SFT.”
In the statement the IAAF further stated that it “fully respects each individual’s personal dignity and supports the social movement to have people accepted in society based on their chosen legal sex and/or gender identity,” but “…there are some contexts, sport being one of them, where biology has to trump identity”.
Supporting its position on what it regards as fair discrimination, the IAAF noted that “It is legitimate for all sport in general, and for the IAAF in particular, to create a protected category for females and to base eligibility for this category on biology and not on gender identity”.