South African Female Athlete Caster Semenya Wins Appeal Against Testosterone Rules After Ban From Running In 2019

Double Olympic champion runner 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.

The ruling could force sport’s highest court to re-examine the regulations that force Semenya and other female athletes to artificially reduce naturally high testosterone levels in order to compete at top meets such as the Olympics and world championships.

The Strasbourg-based rights court ruled in Semenya’s favor by a 4-3 majority of judges.

The court also ruled the South African runner was denied an “effective remedy” against that discrimination when the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Switzerland’s supreme court denied her two previous appeals against the rules.

It was not immediately clear if the ruling would force an immediate rollback of the rules and if the 32-year-old Semenya would be allowed to compete at next year’s Olympics in Paris.

She was the 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion in the 800 meters but has been barred from running in that event since 2019 by the testosterone rules and did not defend her title at the Tokyo Olympics.


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