Swiss Supreme Court Rules Caster Semenya Can Temporarily Compete In Women's Races
After a month-long fight, the biased testosterone rules will be suspended for now.
June 04, 2019 at 3:13 pm
South African Olympic runner Caster Semenya will temporarily be allowed to compete in women's races without taking hormone suppressing medication.
According to The Associated Press, the Swiss Federal Tribunal (the nation's supreme court) ordered the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) to suspend its testosterone rules in a bold ruling on Monday.
"I am thankful to the Swiss judges for this decision," Semenya told media. "I hope that following my appeal I will once again be able to run free."
— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) June 3, 2019
Since May, the 28-year-old has challenged the IAAF for its newest policies targeting female athletes with "differences of sex development."
The rules barred her from running in any race 800-meters or more. These women deemed to have "differences of sex development" tend to be born with the typical male XY chromosome pattern, which was deemed a genetic advantage.
The athletic governing body claims the women have an unfair leg up over their competition due to their "abnormally high" testosterone levels. In order to fix the issue and level the playing field, CNN reports the IAAF gives the female athletes three options: take a daily contraceptive pill, a monthly testosterone-blocking injection or have surgery.
Semenya's attorney Dorothee Schramm told press the rules implemented in May were human rights violations that needed to be challenged. "The Swiss Supreme Court has granted welcome temporary protection to Caster Semenya," Schramm said. "This is an important case that will have fundamental implications for the human rights of female athletes."
Throughout the runner's career, she has become ostracized for her testosterone levels. In 2015, she was forced to suppress her testosterone levels in previous iterations of the IAAF rules.
Francis Niyonsaba of Burundi and Margaret Wambui of Kenya, two other Olympic athletes affected, will also be temporarily protected by the ruling. However, the Swiss supreme court will give the IAAF until June 25 to respond to the ruling with their own arguments in court. For now, the runners are free to compete.