HomeSportsSemenya wins appeal in human rights court - UnlistedNews

Semenya wins appeal in human rights court – UnlistedNews

Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya won an appeal against track and field’s testosterone rules on Tuesday when the European Court of Human Rights ruled she had been discriminated against and there were “serious doubts” about the validity of the rules.

World Athletics, which enforces the regulations, said in reaction to the decision that its rules would remain in force, meaning there would be no immediate return to top-level competition for the South African runner.

Semenya’s case in the rights court was against the Swiss government, not World Athletics, although the decision was an important moment to cast doubt on the future of the rules.

Semenya was legally identified as female at birth and has identified as female her entire life, but regulations introduced by athletics’ governing body in 2019 forced her to artificially suppress her natural testosterone in order to compete in women’s competition.

World Athletics says he has one of several conditions known as differences in sexual development, resulting in a natural testosterone level in the typical male range and giving him an unfair advantage in women’s competitions.

Semenya has been challenging the testosterone rules in court for years, but previously lost an appeal in the sport’s supreme court in 2019 and a second challenge against the rules in Switzerland’s supreme court in 2020. That second rejection of her appeal it was the reason why the Swiss government was the defendant in the European Court of Human Rights case.

The Strasbourg-based rights court ruled in Semenya’s favor by a 4-3 majority of the judges on the discrimination claim, noting that she was denied an “effective remedy” against that discrimination through the two previous cases that lost in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. and the Swiss supreme court.

Tuesday’s ruling was in many ways a criticism of the CAS’s 2019 decision. The sports court upheld rules that require Semenya and others with so-called differences in conditions of sexual development, or DSDs, to take birth control pills, inject hormone blockers or undergo surgery in order to run in top competitions. such as the Olympic Games and world championships.

The rules initially applied at certain events, but World Athletics expanded and tightened them this year. Athletes like Semenya were forced to lower their testosterone even further if they wanted to participate in any races.

The Swiss-based CAS decision that rejected Semenya’s first appeal had failed to adequately consider important factors such as the side effects of hormone treatment, the athletes’ difficulties in continuing to comply with the rules, and the lack of evidence that her high level Natural testosterone actually gave them an advantage, the European Court of Rights said.

An unfair advantage is the main reason World Athletics introduced the rules in the first place.

The European Court of Rights also found that Semenya’s second legal appeal against the rules in Switzerland’s supreme court should have led to “a thorough institutional and procedural review” of the rules, but that did not happen when that court also ruled against it. from Semenya.

The European court of rights ordered the Swiss government to pay Semenya 60,000 euros ($66,000) in costs and expenses.

Ultimately, the rules have sidelined Semenya since 2019 as she has refused to artificially suppress her natural hormone levels in order to run, with the European court of rights noting the “high personal risks” for Semenya in the form when the regulations interrupted her career and affected her. profession.”

Tuesday’s decision could force CAS and ultimately World Athletics to re-examine the regulations, although the path and timeline for a potential rule reversal is unclear.

In a statement, World Athletics said: “We remain of the opinion that the DSD regulations are a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means to protect fair competition in the women’s category, as found by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Swiss Federal Court, after a detailed and expert evaluation of the evidenceā€.

Semenya, 32, aspires to participate in next year’s Olympic Games in Paris. She was the 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion in the 800 meters, but she did not defend her title at the Tokyo Olympics due to regulations.


Sara Marcus
Sara Marcus
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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