Caster Semenya will need to reduce her natural testosterone levels‚ by use of daily hormonal contraceptives‚ if her future times on the track are to be valid for record purposes — or if she intends on defending her Olympic and World titles over 800m‚ according to proposed new rules.
The IAAF‚ the governing body of world athletics‚ is piloting new eligibility regulations for a separate female classification to be known as an Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development (or DSDs)‚ which will directly impact on Semenya‚ the Irish Times reports.
However‚ the regulations‚ expected to be confirmed tomorrow‚ may end up in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)‚ should an athlete challenge them.
South African sports scientist Ross Tucker suspects a legal challenge may be mounted.
If this policy passes, then I would predict that Semenya will be 5 to 7s slower over 800, based on what we say from 2013 to 2015, when the Chand case set the previous policy (10nmol/L in all events) aside. I would imagine that lawyers already have a case ready to submit though.
— Ross Tucker (@Scienceofsport) April 25, 2018
The new regulations are set to come into effect on November 1‚ to allow female athletes with DSD’s a six-month “compliance” period‚ whereby they must undergo the testosterone reduction should they wish to avoid having to stand down from competition once the regulations come into effect‚ according to the Irish Times.
The new DSDs rule also replaces the IAAF’s previous regulations governing eligibility of females with hyperandrogenism.
The New Zealand Herald reports that the IAAF decision is expected to force Semenya either to take medication to reduce her naturally occurring testosterone levels or move to longer-distance events.
It said the new rules will apply to any distance from 400m to the mile‚ meaning Semenya could switch to the 5‚000m and 10‚000m if she refuses to take medication — that can be used on a daily basis in tablet form.
Earlier this month‚ Semenya secured a golden double at the Commonwealth Games — winning the 800m and the 1500m titles in Games record times‚ also breaking Zola Budd’s 34-year-old national mark in the 1500m.
Semenya‚ who is also the Olympic and world 800m champion‚ was first placed in the spotlight in 2009 with the IAAF saying she had undergone a gender verification process.
Apart from commenting to Dr Ali Bacher on Supersport at the shame she felt at the treatment meted out to her‚ saying she felt stripped bare by the humiliation of the tests‚ she has not responded to critics vocal on the gender issue.
She told SA’s Sunday Times that her focus was to inspire girls from rural areas. “Sometimes‚ to be honest‚ if you always win‚ you run out of emotions‚ you don’t know how to express feelings‚ you don’t know how to celebrate. But it’s not about me anymore. It’s about the African girls who come from the rural areas who do not believe that they can do this . . . if you believe in yourself‚ anything is possible. This is just for them‚ to inspire them that they need to work hard‚ to believe in themselves.”