Caster Semenya allowed to compete after Swiss court suspends testosterone ruling

Caster Semenya allowed to compete after Swiss court suspends testosterone ruling

Switzerland’s supreme court on Monday temporarily suspended testosterone regulations in track and field's governing body, handing a legal victory to Olympic champion middle-distance runner Caster Semenya.

The ruling means that Semenya will be allowed to compete in an 800-meter event without taking hormone-suppressing medication, according to the Associated Press.

Semenya had previously been disqualified under International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules relating to testosterone levels, which were upheld 2-1 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in May. Under the Swiss high court’s temporary ruling, the rules will be suspended, allowing Semenya to participate in the event without taking hormone suppressants.

ADVERTISEMENT

The IAAF has the option to challenge the ruling, and lawyers for the South African runner said the court will make another decision following the IAAF’s arguments to the court in favor of the rules, according to the AP.

The court has not yet established a date for the hearing but Greg Nott, a lawyer for Semenya, said it could happen by the end of June, according to the AP.

“I am thankful to the Swiss judges for this decision,” Semenya said in a statement. “I hope that following my appeal I will once again be able to run free.”

"The court has granted welcome temporary protection to Caster Semenya,” Semenya’s legal representative Dr. Dorothee Schramm said. “This is an important case that will have fundamental implications for the human rights of female athletes."

IAAF rules impose testosterone limits on female athletes with so-called “differences of sex development,” which it maintains gives affected athletes an athletic advantage, and that they must suppress them to level the playing field.

If the suspension remains in place, Semenya will be eligible to participate in the remainder of the Diamond League’s 800-meter events and defend her title in Qatar in September at the world championships, according to the AP.