South African officials to appeal decision in Caster Semenya gender-testing case

Caster Semenya celebrates after winning the women's 800-meter race during the IAAF Diamond League meeting May 3 in Doha, Qatar.
(Noushad Thekkayil / EPA-EFE / REX )

South Africa’s national track federation plans to appeal the landmark ruling in the Caster Semenya case, a government official said.

The country’s minister of sport told multiple news outlets Monday that Athletics South Africa would file its challenge in Swiss federal court within a 30-day deadline.

Earlier this month, Semenya lost her case against the international track federation, or IAAF, in the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.


CAS determined the IAAF could regulate the participation of Semenya and other female athletes who had “differences of sex development,” meaning they have natural testosterone levels beyond the normal female range.

The IAAF claims that, because testosterone is responsible for muscle mass and strength, this condition represents an unfair advantage.

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Athletes with DSD now face a choice: They can take medication to alter their body chemistry or compete against men.

The IAAF’s new rule applies to events ranging from the 400 meters to the mile.

Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion at 800 meters, said after a recent track meet that she would not take medication.

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