Lawyers for Caster Semenya are calling on World Athletics to drop controversial testosterone rules that forced South Africa to drop attempts to defend its 800m Olympics crown after laws on the report are based on the term “misleading”
- Caster Semenya lawyers hope testosterone laws dropped
- Governing body scientists admitted the results could have been ‘misleading’
- Semenya failed to defend her Olympic 800m title at Tokyo Games
- Campaigners demanded that controversial rules be changed
Lawyers for Caster Semenya have new hope that World Athletics’ controversial testosterone laws will be scrapped after scientists at the governing body admitted the findings that helped trigger the rules “could have been misleading.”
Semenya was unable to defend her double Olympic 800m title at the Tokyo Games due to rules prohibiting athletes with differences in sexual development from competing unless they were taking anti-hormonal drugs.
World Athletics is now facing calls to repeal the regulations after their scientists admitted some findings were “at a lower level of evidence.”
Caster Semenya lawyers have new hope World Athletics’ controversial testosterone laws will be dropped
The 2017 results noted an increase in performance in women with high testosterone levels.
But the British Journal of Sports Medicine has now published a “correction” to the results, leading campaigners to say the rules should be dropped.
In the new report, Stéphane Bermon, director of the Health and Science department of World Athletics, and his predecessor Pierre-Yves Garnier, wrote: “To be explicit, there is no confirmatory evidence of causation in the observed relationships reported. We recognize that our 2017 study was exploratory.
They add: “With this in mind, we recognize that the statements contained in the document could have been misleading by implying causal inference.
Semenya was unable to defend her double Olympic 800m title at Tokyo Games due to rules prohibiting athletes with differences in sexual development from competing
‘Specifically,’ female athletes with a high fT [testosterone] the levels have a significant competitive advantage over those with low fT over 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, hammer throw and pole vault.
“This statement should be amended to read:” High fT levels in female athletes were associated with higher athletic performance than those with low fT over 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, hammer throw and vault. the perch. ”
“This is very important new information,” Semenya’s attorney Gregory Nott of Norton Rose Fulbright told Telegraph Sport.
“We are in the middle of the European Court of Human Rights case and will be discussing with our London QC and the entire legal team how to bring the information into the proceedings.
“World Athletics recently expressed its wish to intervene in the proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights and we hope that they will now support the annulment of the regulation.
“It is more than surprising that World Athletics did not reveal this evidence before the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo and allow Caster to defend his title in the 800m.”
Semenya has expressed disappointment at not being able to compete in Tokyo after losing her appeal to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in September last year.
But scientists at the governing body admitted that the findings that helped trigger the rules “could have been misleading.”
‘I am very disappointed. I refuse to let World Athletics drug me or prevent me from being who I am, ”she said.
“Excluding female athletes or endangering our health solely because of our natural abilities puts World Athletics on the wrong side of history.”
Semenya, who was given female at birth and was raised female, is actually considered intersex due to a genetic condition, meaning she has both the X and Y chromosomes, a trait commonly found in men.
The vast majority of women only have X chromosomes.
The condition leads to high levels of testosterone – the male sex hormone, which also plays a role in increasing muscle growth.
While the exact effect of excess testosterone on an athlete’s performance is unclear, it is believed to provide an advantage in some sports.