Semenya determined to fight on against DSD regulations

May 16, 2024 4:06 pm

Caster Semenya [Source: Reuters]

Double Olympic 800-metre champion Caster Semenya appeared at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Wednesday to continue her challenge against World Athletics regulations that female athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) medically reduce their testosterone levels.

The ECHR ruled in July 2023, by a majority of four votes to three, that Semenya’s original appeal to a Swiss Federal Tribunal against the regulations had not been properly heard.

But the Swiss, encouraged by World Athletics, have appealed that verdict to the ECHR Grand Chamber for a final and definitive decision. A verdict is expected in the coming months.

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Should Semenya be successful it will open up the possibility of a fresh challenge to the regulations that effectively ended her running career, though she says her fight is now for future generations.

Under the World Athletics rules, female athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) must lower their level of testosterone to below 2.5 nmol/L for at least six months to compete. This can be done medically or surgically.

Athletes competing in events between 400 meters and a mile must keep their levels below 2.5 nmol/L for 24 months.

World Athletics have denied there is any attempt to discriminate in their regulations.