Olympic and world 800m champion, Caster Semenya, to file a legal case against IAAF testosterone ruling

South Africa’s double Olympic 800m champion, Caster Semenya, has said she will fight the new IAAF rules at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The new rules, which come into play on 1 November 2018, will apply to women who race in track events from 400m up to the mile. The IAAF believes the new measures will stop women with high testosterone levels gaining a competitive advantage in races.

The new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification mean that female runners with naturally high levels of testosterone will have to race in the men’s race, or change events, unless they take medication.

The 27-year-old South African said: “It is not fair. I just want to run naturally, the way I was born. I am Mokgadi Caster Semenya. I am a woman and I am fast.”

Semenya’s Lawyers added: “Ms Semenya, like all athletes, is entitled to compete the way she was born without being obliged to alter her body by any medical means.”

Semenya won the world 800m title by nearly 2.5 seconds at age 18, before track officials asked her to undertake gender testing. Athletics South Africa president Leonard Chuene admitted he had lied to the Semenya about the purpose of the testing, and no results have officially been made public. Semenya was not cleared to run for 11 months, before coming back to win silver at the 2011 Worlds and 2012 London Olympic Games.

IAAF president Seb Coe said in April: “Our evidence and data show that testosterone, either naturally produced or artificially inserted into the body, provides significant performance advantages in female athletes. The revised rules are not about cheating, no athlete with a DSD [difference of sexual development] has cheated, they are about levelling the playing field to ensure fair and meaningful competition.”

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