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South Africa Appeals IAAF Testosterone Rule

Athletics South Africa (ASA) has lodged its statement of appeal against the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) testosterone rule with the court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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The athletic SA reaction was triggered by its athlete, Caster Semenya’s readiness to challenge the female eligibility rule.

“It is not fair. I just want to run naturally, the way I was born,” said the 27-year-old South African,

“I am Mokgadi Caster Semenya. I am a woman and I am fast,” she said.

The IAAF had fixed a new rule to see female athletes with naturally high testosterone compete with the men.

The rule which will commence 1st of November 2018, is to stop women with high testosterone levels gaining a more competitive advantage.

The SA athletics body said in its statement of appeal it contends the regulations “discriminate impermissibly against certain female athletes on the basis of natural physical characteristics, and/or sex”.

“The regulations and their implementation constitute an infringement of the rights of the affected female athletes to a private life, which includes the right to the protection of a person’s physical, moral and psychological integrity, as well as the right to choose or to exercise personal autonomy. These are inviolable human rights.

“There is insufficient scientific evidence to assert that testosterone is the predominant factor which causes male athletes to perform substantially better than female athletes and, accordingly, if testosterone does not determine male performance, it can logically not define the difference between male and female performance.

“There is insufficient scientific evidence that: (a) endogenous testosterone significantly improves athletic performance in female athletes, and (b) 5nmol/L is the scientifically correct threshold at which female athletes are in the “normal range” of endogenous testosterone for females.

“The regulations are disproportionate in the context of (a) the fact that they discriminate on the basis of a natural physical characteristic and/or sex; (b) violate fundamental human rights of affected athletes.”

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