The ongoing battle between Olympic champion Caster Semenya and the International Association of Athletics Federations continues over whether the athlete should be required to suppress her testosterone levels in order to continue competing in women’s track.
Newly released court documents reveal the regulatory agency classified the female-born South African as “biologically male,” in making their case that Semenya must take testosterone-suppressing oral contraceptives in order to keep running.
What are the details?
In early May, Semenya lost her bid to fight the IAAF’s new regulations capping the allowable testosterone levels of female competitors who have medical conditions known as “differences of sex development” or DSD.
A month later, the Swiss supreme court suspended the ruling after Semenya appealed on human rights grounds, which placed a temporary hold on the decision until the IAAF could respond, the Associated Press reported.
On Tuesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport released 163 pages of court documents detailing the arbitration proceedings between Semenya and the IAAF. Within them, the IAAF claimed Semenya falls in a category of athletes with 46 XY DSD — a condition where an individual is born with the typical XY male chromosome pattern along with some male characteristics.
The IAAF deems such athletes to be “biologically male,” and argued that in determining who should be allowed to compete in women’s athletics, “there are some contexts where biology has to trump identity.”
But Semenya — who was legally identified as female at birth and has lived as a woman her entire life — argues she should be able to run in her natural state without being forced to hobble the athletic talents she was born with. She has been fighting with the IAAF for a decade, and has agreed to take testosterone-suppressing oral contraceptives in the past.
The AP reported Switzerland’s highest court will hear Semenya’s full appeal.
Meanwhile, the athlete released a statement on Tuesday saying, “I will not allow the IAAF to use me and my body again.”