Mokgadi Caster Semenya in London, 2012. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

After a week of court proceedings in Lausanne, Switzerland, the fate of Caster Semenya will be formally announced on 24 March 2019 by the CAS (Court of Arbitration in Sport).

The IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) has fought to exclude Semenya from athletics ever since her hyperandrogenism (which results in heightened levels of testosterone) was revealed to the public in 2009. New policies being proposed by the IAAF could force Semenya and other female athletes like her to undergo invasive surgeries or artificially lower their testosterone levels should they wish to continue competing as women in the international athletics sphere.

Backed by the South African government, a range of medical experts and gender-activists, Semenya appeared in a Swiss court daily between 18 and 22 February to oppose the IAAF’s new policies.

Semenya has not spoken out publicly since the start of court proceedings, but her legal team did issue a statement saying that Semenya and other athletes like her should be “celebrated for their natural talents as are all other athletes with genetic variations.”

“The IAAF’s regulations do not empower anyone. Rather, they represent yet another flawed and hurtful attempt to police the sex of female athletes,” continued the statement.

The IAAF’s ongoing unfair assault against Caster’s particular physical variation is appalling and amounts to discrimination. We at Iranti condemn it in the strongest possible terms and hope for a positive outcome on 24 March. Anything else would be a more than a setback for a single athlete, but the setting of an unacceptable standard of discrimination based on sex by the CAS, which will adversity affect many athletes globally.

#HandsOffCaster