The South African Olympic champion Caster Semenya is no longer allowed to run on her parade route over 800 meters because of her high testosterone levels. This continues to concern the courts. The Olympic champion is now very open in an interview.
Olympic champion Caster Semenya doesn’t want to give in in the fight against testosterone rules from the World Athletics Association. In an interview with the British BBC, she emphasized that she was at peace with herself. “I think if you’re a woman, you’re a woman. No matter what differences you have,” said the 32-year-old South African. She wants to live her life and fight for what she thinks. “I know that I am a woman,” emphasized Semenya. She just accepts what comes with it.
Semenya was born with Differences of Sexual Development (DSD) and therefore has a very high, natural testosterone level. This is distorting competition, say World Arthletics. That is why the world association has been excluding women with DSD from the 400, 800 and 1500 meter races since 2018. They are allowed to take part in the races if they artificially lower their testosterone levels.
The 800-meter Olympic champion from 2012 and 2016 sees herself being discriminated against because of this. She rejects a reduction. After unsuccessful lawsuits before the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) and the Swiss Federal Court, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of Semenya in the summer with a 4:3 vote. The Court announced on Monday that the proceedings would be referred to the Grand Chamber. Switzerland had submitted a corresponding application.
Caster Semenya: I don’t care about medical terms
Semenya reported in the interview that she has known she was different since she was five years old. “I don’t care about medical terms or what they tell me. (…) That doesn’t make me any less of a woman,” emphasized the three-time world champion, who, according to information in her autobiography, has no uterus or fallopian tube. She has nothing to hide. “I am a woman and have a vagina, like every woman,” emphasized Semenya.
The debate about her began at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, after which she had to undergo a gender test. Semenya said in the interview that she was also fighting for women to have a voice. If sports federations said they were acting in the interests of athletes, they should do so. The World Athletics Federation has so far refused to change its rules. Semenya therefore switched to the 5000 meters, but was unable to build on her successes over 800 meters over the longer distance.
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