Monday, 18 February 2019

Caster Semenya fighting plans that would force her to lower testosterone levels

Women's 800m champion Caster Semenya has accused thletics chiefs of breaching a confidentiality agreement as she launches a court battle against rules that would force her to lower her testosterone levels.

The 28-year-old South African, who has been dogged by questions about her gender, is in Lausanne, Switzerland for the first day of her appeal hearing.

She is seeking to overturn a new set of rules proposed by The International Association of Athletics Federations' proposed (IAAF) which would force 'hyperandrogenic' athletes - or those with 'differences of sexual development' (DSD) - to take drugs to lower testosterone levels below a prescribed amount if they wish to compete.
The South African government has said the rules specifically target Semenya and has called them a 'gross violation' of her human rights. 

On the first day of the appeal, being heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, Semenya's legal team said the IAAF had breached confidentiality regulations by releasing the names of five expert witnesses who will testify on their behalf.

'The arbitration proceedings are subject to strict confidentiality provisions and this information should not have been released,' Semenya's lawyers said in a statement on Monday.

'Ms Semenya believes the IAAF press release is a clear breach of the confidentiality provisions that was orchestrated in an effort to influence public opinion in circumstances where the IAAF knew that Ms Semenya would not be prepared to respond because she was complying with her confidentiality obligations.

'As a matter of fairness Ms Semenya raised this issue with the CAS and has been granted permission to publicly release information responding to the IAAF press releaseĆ¢ including disclosing the experts who are testifying in support of Ms Semenya's case. This information will be released tomorrow.'

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