Stronger, fiercer and ready for battle: Will Caster Semenya appeal court's decision?

02 May 2019 - 06:29 By Jessica Levitt
Stronger. Fiercer. Ready for battle. Caster Semenya isn't about to give up.
Stronger. Fiercer. Ready for battle. Caster Semenya isn't about to give up.
Image: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images

Caster Semenya has not been defeated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling in support of the International Association of Athletics Federations's (IAAF) decision to force female athletes to regulate their testosterone levels. The Olympic and world champ remains steadfast, issuing a statement which says that the decision, handed down on Wednesday, has made her stronger.

Here are five articles on Semenya that you need to read.

The battle

In February the court hearing between Semenya and the IAAF took place. Semenya was fighting a proposal by the athletics body which would compel her to take medication to lower her testosterone levels before she would be allowed to further compete as a female.

The battle between Semenya and the federations dates back to 2009. She had won her first senior championship in Berlin and was forced to undergo gender verification tests before being handed her medal.

The taunts

In the face of the ongoing battle, Semenya pulled out a tactic during the national championships in Germiston last month. The proposed testosterone ruling by the IAAF doesn't apply to 100m or 200m sprints, nor races longer than the mile. Semenya is known for her 800m victories, but has also had success in the 400m and 1,500m. At the national championships she won the 5,000m.

The verdict

The CAS ruled that the IAAF regulations needed to be enforced to ensure fair competition between athletes who compete in events between 400m and a mile. This means that Semenya and all differences of sexual development (DSD) athletes who compete in the world championships in Doha in September will have to take medication to lower testosterone levels.

The support

Choosing a side has never been hard for South Africans when it comes to Semenya. As the verdict was announced, shock, anger and disappointment trended on social media, with many calling the decision discriminatory and sexist.

Bold and fierce: It's not over yet.

Semenya has 30 days to appeal the decision. In a statement after the verdict, she said she was stronger, prompting speculation that the case will be appealed.