On Thursday, the IAAF implemented a questionable policy that will force women with naturally higher levels of testosterone to either take medication to suppress it, undergo surgery or quit the sport altogether.
The policy has been widely critiqued and it’s likely that it will be challenged in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
One of the athletes likely to be affected by it – South Africa’s Caster Semenya – has taken the announcement in her stride.
The announcement of the policy doesn’t come as a surprise – it was approved by the council last month. But Semenya is totally unfussed.
South Africans already know that the World Champion athlete is the epitome of grace and respect, even when her competitors are rude.
On her Instagram account, she has been sharing quotes all week. And while she hasn’t directly addressed the ruling, her quotes have been on point.
A post shared by Caster Semenya (@castersemenya800m) on
The policy has been widely criticised, not just because it is viewed as a gross violation of human rights in some corners, but because of how arbitrarily it is being applied.
For one, it will not apply to men who also have varying levels of testosterone. Equally, it also includes events – the 1500m to be exact – which according to the IAAF’s study – does not show any real advantage to having higher T-levels.
It also includes the hammer throw and pole vault. Two events where the IAAF’s own study has shown there to be the biggest advantage to having higher natural T-levels.
We cannot overlook that Caster Semenya is the specific target here. I’ll file this under racism, as well as sexist ideas of how a woman can look. The message? Female athletes: you can be strong but not too strong.
— The Chris Mosier (@TheChrisMosier) April 22, 2018
Athletics officials have made multiple attempts over the last decade to stop Caster Semenya from running. This has been her response pic.twitter.com/nS79Z3GUpf
— Wesley Botton (@wesbotton) April 25, 2018
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