Government supports Semenya
The government decided to support Caster Semenya following the loss of her appeal to the Swiss Federal Court against the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) ruling.
Semenya has been battling against CAS following their ruling last year. It supported the International Association of Athletics Federation’s decision to prescribe hormone suppressing drugs to women diagnosed with a disorder of sexual development (DSD).
In order to compete, she has to take this medication or have a surgical procedure to lower her testosterone levels. The prescription will apply to women competing in the 400m-1500m races.
The appeal was dismissed even after it was found that the drugs may have a negative health reaction, are not of Semenya’s free will and that they do not serve any medical purposes. As a result, she will not be able to compete and defend her title at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Semenya took to Twitter to express her views. “Chills my people, A man can change the rules but the very same man cannot rule my life, What I’m saying is that I might have failed against them the truth is that I have won this battle long ago, Go back to my achievements then you will understand. Doors might be closed not locked,” she said.
Sports, Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa said this decision violates the rights of women with DSD. “Both the South African government and the global sporting community always held a firm view that these regulations are a gross violation of fundamental human rights of DSD female athletes and therefore rallied behind the appeal by both Semenya and Athletics South Africa (ASA) in their legal tussle with the IAAF,” he said.
Nokukhanya Ntuli, an aspiring female athlete said this ruling is very discouraging. “Someone once said that being black and female simultaneously is the most difficult thing in the world. In sports you have to work hard as an athlete generally and push yourself, when you’re black, you have to work harder, when you’re a woman, it’s even worse. It’s very discouraging as not only is Semenya our national treasure, she is also an inspiration and her resilience and consistency are two things I always try to resemble. What they are forcing her to do is unjust and inhumane, we hope that we can fight against this and that it will be overturned,” she said.