A global athletics governing body ruled against Caster Semenya’s appeal to compete without lowering her naturally high testosterone levels, deciding that “such discrimination is necessary.”
The International Association of Athletics Federation’s Court of Arbitration dismissed the 28-year-old South African sprinter’s appeal in a judgment that is sure to affect athletes with differences of sex development and trans athletes for years to come.
“On the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events,” the three-judge panel ruled in a 2-1 decision, per the Associated Press.
Hounded by racist, misogynistic concerns over her gender and her right to compete against other female athletes since she was a teenager, Semenya says she is already thinking about appealing the Court of Arbitration’s decision, Reuters reports.
“I know that the IAAF’s regulations have always targeted me specifically,” Semenya said in a statement to the AP. “For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.”
Semenya is scheduled to compete in the 800 meter event at the first Diamond League track meet of the season in Doha on Friday — the last such event before the IAAF begins implementing its new policy next week.