'IAAF won't drug me:' Caster Semenya appeals testosterone ruling
2-time Olympic champ barred from several races unless she medically lowers levels
South African runner Caster Semenya filed an appeal Wednesday against the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to uphold testosterone regulations for some female athletes in track and field.
The two-time Olympic 800-metre champion's lawyers said she lodged an appeal with the Swiss Federal Tribunal, Switzerland's supreme court. CAS, sport's highest court, is based in Switzerland.
Semenya's appeal focuses on "fundamental human rights," the lawyers said.
"I am a woman and I am a world-class athlete," Semenya said. "The IAAF will not drug me or stop me from being who I am."
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But the IAAF requires Semenya and others affected by the rules to take hormone suppressing medication or have surgery if they want to compete in the restricted events. That's been labelled as unethical by leading medical experts, including the World Medical Association, which represents doctors across the world.
Decisions made by CAS can be appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal on only a very limited number of grounds. One of them is a ruling that possibly violates a person's human rights.
Semenya's lawyers could also seek a temporary suspension of the IAAF rules, which came into effect May 8, to allow her to defend her 800 title at the world championships in Doha, Qatar in September. The testosterone regulations specify that athletes must reduce their testosterone levels to a level decided by the IAAF for six months consistently before being allowed to run in international events.
Under the current regulations, Semenya can't run the 800 or 1,500, her favourite events, at any Diamond League meets this season or the world championships.