Track and field

Caster Semenya on IAAF rule for intersex athletes: “It makes no sense”

Caster Semenya will not be seen at the Olympics. As a hyper-androgenic athlete, the IAAF has banned her from competing in her favorite 800m, so she focused unsuccessfully on the 5,000m. “It makes no sense,” she said in Liege.

In 2018, the IAAF introduced a new rule for hyperandrogenic athletes. A study revealed that intersex athletes with their high testosterone levels would have an advantage over certain distances. For example, Semenya is not allowed to participate in the 400 meters, the 800 meters and the 1,500 meters. Unless she takes medication to lower her testosterone levels.

After her 5,000 meters (in 15:50.12) in Li├Ęge, the much-discussed athlete, who could not qualify for the Games, gave her opinion on the situation. “It makes no sense,” she said. “If you say that we are not allowed to run from the 400 meters to 1,500 meters and the 200 meters and 5,000 meters are allowed…”

“That doesn’t make sense at all. But hey, that’s none of my business. I’ll leave it up to the right people to handle the situation.”

“I keep fighting for my rights”
“Of course I hope the rule changes. I’m an 800m runner. There’s no doubt about that. I keep hoping that I can run my numbers. But right now my focus is on being healthy. To be an inspiration for young athletes. I will continue to fight for my rights.”

The IAAF suggested 3 medical options to lower testosterone levels. “That’s nonsense,” Semenya said. “If you’re going to talk about an investigation, you have to give us evidence. You can’t tell me about an Australian or a German doctor. You want to see evidence that you actually tested that.”

At the moment my focus is on being healthy. To be an inspiration to young athletes.

Caster Semenya

“There’s Nothing That Can Break Me”
Semenya went to the Court of Human Rights. “What can I say? Justice must be done. If they think it’s okay for the IAAF to violate women’s rights, so be it.”

Semenya was also asked if she would break the world record in the 800 meters. “Of course. I wasn’t close to it, I was breaking it.”

“I’m always prepared for anything. I’ve studied psychology and physiology, so I know everything about my body. There’s nothing that can break me. Not letting me run the 800m won’t break me. Then I’ll do something else .”

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