Published: Fri, April 27, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

IAAF targeting of Caster Semenya sexist and racist - EFF

IAAF targeting of Caster Semenya sexist and racist - EFF

"The ANC will stand with Caster Semenya in yet another attempt by worldwide sport bodies to exclude and discriminate against her", the party said in a statement.

The IAAF said that from November 1, it will limit entry for all worldwide events from 400 meters to the mile to women with testosterone levels below a specified level.

But Caster is not letting any of that get her down.

She responded on Twitter: "I am 97% sure you don't like me but I'm 100% sure I don't care".

Athletics authorities have struggled to find a solution to the issue that respected the rights of Semenya while also providing what they says is a "level playing field". "Our evidence and data show that testosterone, either naturally produced or artificially inserted into the body, provides significant performance advantages in female athletes", he said.

However‚ the regulations‚ expected to be confirmed on Thursday‚ may end up in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), should Semenya challenge them.

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

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In a statement released on Thursday, the federation requires _any athlete who has a difference of sexual development (DSD) that means her levels of circulating testosterone (in serum) are five (5) nmol/L or above and who is androgen-sensitive to meet the following criteria to be eligible to compete in restricted events in an worldwide competition (or set a World Record in a restricted event at competition that is not an global competition).

South Africa's athletics federation said it stood by all its athletes but would study the new regulations.

The new rules effectively give Semenya a choice of taking the medication to restrict her testosterone or move to longer distance events.

"This is about our responsibility to ensure, in simple terms, a level playing field".

South African sports scientist Ross Tucker suspects a legal challenge may be mounted should the IAAF go ahead with their plans.

With testosterone levels between 5 and 10 nanomoles per liter, the IAAF said, women gain a clear performance advantage derived from a 4.4 percent increase in muscle mass, a 12 percent to 26 percent increase in muscle strength and a 7.8 percent increase in hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in red blood cells. Caster has been subjected to vicious attack and the ANCWL will unapologetically defend her against this attacks even when are smuggled through back door as laws by IAAF.

"Caster is not just an athlete to people of South Africa, she represents their hopes and aspirations".

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