IAAF wants Caster to lower her testosterone levels 'for women's sport'

IAAF wants Caster to lower her testosterone levels 'for women's sport'

Her landmark case got underway on Monday, and the hearing is scheduled for five days where her legal team is expected to lay out evidence supporting her argument and to discredit the IAAF's proposed new laws.

Athletics South Africa (ASA), meanwhile, slammed the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as proceedings began.

"Ms Semenya is unquestionably a woman", said Semenya's lawyers in a statement on Thursday.

"Both ASA and Caster Semenya raised their objections before the CAS panel this morning and the CAS panel directed that ASA and Semenya may issue a Press Statement similar to the one issued by the IAAF".

"ASA and Semenya believe the IAAF breach of the confidentiality provisions, was orchestrated mindful that ASA and Semenya would not be prepared to respond because they were complying with the confidentiality obligations".

Athletes who want to compete in these events must take medication for six months to lower the levels of testosterone that they have in their bodies, then maintain that level.

The rules were to have been introduced last November but have been put on hold pending this week's hearings. CAS secretary-general Mathieu Reeb expressed hope for a decision by the three-judge panel by the end of March.

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In 2016 after Semenya won a gold medal at the Rio Olympics in Brazil, British athlete Lynsey Sharp started crying after she completed the 800m final in 6th place.

Many people think that Caster has an unfair advantage because of her hormone levels, which they say means that she can perform at a higher level.

"It is unusual and unprecedented because we never had a such a case at CAS", he said.

South Africa's Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa argues that the rules are "discriminatory".

"Women's bodies, their wellbeing, their ability to earn a livelihood, their very identity, their privacy and sense of safety and belonging in the world, are being questioned".

The 18-time Grand Slam singles victor said it was significant that the change would only apply to female athletes competing in distances from 400m to a mile.

"For it to serve its purposes, which include providing females opportunities equal to males, it must have eligibility standards that ensure athletes who identify as female but have testes, and testosterone levels in the male range, at least drop their testosterone levels into the female range in order to compete at the elite level in the female classification".

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