There is anger among South Africans and many Africans after Olympic 800-metres champion Caster Semenya lost her appeal against rules meant to suppress her testosterone through medication.
The ruling means all female athletes with high natural levels of testosterone must take medication to reduce it in order to compete.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) gave the ruling on Wednesday in which it stated that the regulations were necessary for athletes with different sexual development (DSDs) status.
That will ensure that such athletes competition fairly with others. In reaction to the ruling, Semenya said in a statement released via her lawyers that “I know that the IAAF’s regulations have always targeted me specifically.”
“For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the CAS will not hold me back,” she added in the statement.
She also said “I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.”
Caster Semenya’s silent reaction
But on social media he posted a message that sort to remain silent over the ruling.
— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) May 1, 2019
Meanwhile Semenya’s lawyers say they are considering appealing the ruling.
But the IAAF welcomed the verdict. It said it was “pleased that the regulations were found to be a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s legitimate aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the restricted events.”
Anger in South Africa
In South Africa, the country’s governing party, ANC says described as appalling that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas)’s ruling.
It said in a statement that “It is rather disheartening to learn that the court has ruled against Caster Semenya in her fight to be treated equally and without prejudice.”
The statement also said that “The ANC has always appreciated the role of sport as a unifier that traverses the racial, ethnic, religious, gender and class divide.”
“Yet today we witness the IAAF, a body meant to be the custodian of the values for athletics, acting in a prejudicial manner that divides rather than unites athletes,” it added.
On social media many Africans were not happy with the court’s ruling.
We love and support you. I am so terribly sorry about all this. Thank you for your visibility, your courage and fortitude. You are my hero.
— GIFLord DanielléDASH (@DanielleDASH) May 1, 2019
The whole of South Africa stands united in support of you!
— Kass Naidoo (@KassNaidoo) May 1, 2019
Like Usain Bolt. Like Michael Phelps. Were they ever requested to reduce their hormone intake? The way those two train is no different from any athlete who competes with them. Yet, not one person has ever asked why Usain almost walks to the finish
— Ci (@CeepNm) May 1, 2019
Even in matters that concern them! Her fellow sportswomen swayed this decision too, so let’s not forget their part in forcing this on her.
It’s been so disheartening seeing Caster have to put up with this for literal years.
— reset to factory vagina settings (@honeystheaven) May 1, 2019
Love you. Appeal. This is utter nonsense. Do not take any medication. Sending more power to you.
— Campbell X (@CampbellX) May 1, 2019