South African Olympic champion and intersex athlete, Caster Semenya has accused world athletics’ governing body the IAAF of using her as ‘a human guinea pig’ to test its testosterone limit for intersex athletes and she cannot let that happen again.
This comes as a reaction from the 28 year old on the publication of the cort of Arbitration for Sport’s written decision to reject her appeal against the IAAF’s ‘eligibility regulations for the female classification (athletes with differences of sex development)’
The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, in May announced the hugely controversial decision after it ruled in favour of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), that female athletes such as Semenya, who is intersex must take testosterone suppressants like the contraceptive pill to stay under the permitted level to continue competing as a woman in any running event between the 400m and the mile. Only a summary of the three-strong panel’s ruling was available then, until Tuesday when sport’s highest court published the full, 163-page verdict on its website.
Both sides called numerous experts on genetics, medical ethics, and sports science to make their cases with the panel unanimously agreeing with Semenya’s team that the regulations are “discriminatory” but, by a 2-1 verdict, deciding they were a “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” way of protecting the integrity of female athletics.
In a statement released today, Semenya said: ‘The IAAF used me in the past as a human guinea pig to experiment with how the medication they required me to take would affect my testosterone levels.
Even though the hormonal drugs made me feel constantly sick, the IAAF now wants to enforce even stricter thresholds with unknown health consequences. I will not allow the IAAF to use me and my body again.
‘But I am concerned that other female athletes will feel compelled to let the IAAF drug them and test the effectiveness and negative health effects of different hormonal drugs. This cannot be allowed to happen.’
At the recently held IAAF Diamond League meet in Morocco, Semenya was denied entry by the president of the Moroccan Athletics Federation to participate in the competition.