Global

Caster Semenya claps back at haters

Caster Semenya claps back at haters

The IAAF confirmed a new hyperandrogenism rule on Thursday that could prevent South African runner Caster Semenya from competing in 800m and 1500m races.

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that female runners with higher testosterone levels held advantages in a number of events, including the "400-metre (2.7 percent), 400-metre hurdles (2.8 percent), 800-metre (1.8 percent), hammer throw (4.5 percent) and pole vault (2.9 percent)", per Bloom.

"We want athletes to be incentivised to make the huge commitment and sacrifice required to excel in the sport".

Other athletes say Semenya has an unfair advantage because of high levels of naturally occurring testosterone in her body.

It said the new rules would apply to any distance from 400m to the mile‚ meaning Semenya could switch to the 5 000m and 10 000m if she refuses to take medication, which can be used on a daily basis in tablet form.

But South Africans rallied behind Semenya and blasted the athletics body. She was subjected to a gender test, while some of her competitors started questioning her times.

In 2011, athletics' governing body attempted to prohibit female athletes with hyperandrogenism (excessive levels of androgens in the female body) from competing at global events under IAAF guidance. Semenya won gold in the same event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and has lowered her personal best to 1:55.16, which has her knocking on the door of Jarmila Kratochvílová's 1:53.28 world record.

In 2015, the Court of Arbitration for Sport put a temporary stop to the IAAF regulation after Indian sprinter Dutee Chand fought that she was being discriminated against for her condition.

On her Twitter account on Wednesday (Thursday NZT), Semenya did not comment but posted an image of the statement: "How handsome it is to stay silent when someone expects you to be enraged".

"Once done, we will then interact with the IAAF", read part of the statement.

"We are concerned that the decisions have been approved without taking into account all factors into consideration, as these factors have not been properly nor fully ventilated".

The inclusion of the 1500m and mile make the new gender rules even more skewed towards eliminating Semenya from worldwide competition, as last summer marked the 27-year-old's first global championship appearance in the 1500m.

The IAAF announced on Thursday that some female athletes, who have naturally high testosterone levels, will have to race against men or change events, if they do not take medication to lower their levels.


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