Sport Athletics Semenya free to run during appeal: court

Semenya free to run during appeal: court

Rio 800m gold medallist Caster Semenya. Photo: Getty
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Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya must be allowed to run without testosterone cap regulations set by the athletics’ governing body the IAAF with immediate effect, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court said.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had ruled the IAAF regulations were necessary for XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) competing in events ranging from 400 metres to a mile.

“The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has ordered the IAAF to immediately suspend the implementation of the eligibility regulations against Caster Semenya, allowing her to compete without restriction in the female category while her appeal is pending,” a statement from Semenya’s lawyers said.

The CAS ruling had caused a huge furore in South Africa, with the government, the South African Sports Confederation, and the Olympic Committee slamming the decision.

No time frame has been given for when a final ruling might be made, but the IAAF will make further submissions to the court, the statement said.

The athlete herself had challenged the verdict in the hope of having it overturned.

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

The IAAF said it had not yet been notified of the suspension.

“We have received no information from the Swiss Federal Court so we cannot comment at this stage,” an IAAF spokesperson said.

Semenya won her last competitive 800 metres race at the Doha Diamond League on May 3, and could potentially race again in Oslo on June 13.