Caster Semenya says she refuses “to let World Athletics drug me or stop me from being who I am” despite losing her latest appeal against new rules governing testosterone levels in females in the sport.
The two-time Olympic champion challenged a 2019 ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that went against her in the competition regulations.
Governing body World Athletics issued regulations for female athletes with differences in sexual development (DSD) that require such athletes with high testosterone levels to take medication to lower those levels if they want to participate in track events ranging from the 400m to 1 500m.
Semenya competes in all the main affected races – 400m, 800m and 1 500m – and the move by World Athletics was regarded by many as a plot to end the South African’s dominance in the 800m in particular.
She has insisted that she won’t take any medication.
But the law firm representing Semenya, Norton Rose Fulbright, announced yesterday that the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland had refused to set aside the CAS ruling, and had upheld World Athletics’ controversial rules.
This means that as it stands, Semenya will not be able to defend her Olympic title in Tokyo next year, but she is not giving up without a fight.
She says: “I am very disappointed by this ruling, but refuse to let World Athletics drug me or stop me from being who I am.”