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IAAF contests Swiss court’s relief for S/Africa’s Semenya

Fuming at the Swiss Federal Tribunal’s ruling to suspend its ban of South African runner Caster Semenya from the tracks, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has said it will fight the court decision in order to reinstate its controversial regulation on female athletes with high testosterone levels.The IAAF, with the backing of a lower Swiss court, in April banned Semenya and two other African runners from its track due to their high testosterone levels.

This development (to allow Semenya to run) was unfair to other female athletes who did not have the same sexual development in their bodies, the IAAF claimed.

However, on Monday the Swiss higher court disagreed with the world athletics governing body, and suspended the IAAF’s rule obliging athletes, including double Olympic champion Semenya, to take drugs to lower their testosterone levels in order to compete in certain events.

Switzerland’s higher court on Monday suspended the IAAF rules following an appeal by Semenya until her appeal has been finalised.

This decision has left IAAF president Sebastian Coe and his officials fuming at the Swiss higher court, saying the IAAF would “seek a swift reversion of the super-provisional order moving forwards.”

“The IAAF will continue to fight for equal rights and opportunities for all (white) women and girls in our sport today and in the future,” the athletics body said.

 The three banned black women, including Semenya, are from South Africa, Burundi and Kenya.

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