Tracing Semenya’s testosterone regulation battle with IAAF

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It all came as reprieve for South Africa’s embattled female athlete Caster Semenya after the Swiss court temporarily stopped the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from implementing the new testosterone regulation on June 3.

The 2016 Rio Olympics 800m gold medalist who lost an appeal against the global Athletics governing body last month will now compete before the new regulation is implemented.

However, Sports News Africa has narrowed down to locate where the rain started beating the 28-year-old athlete in her flourishing career.

Having stolen the show in July 2009, the then teenager won gold in Africa Junior Championships, 800m category.

The much-celebrated victory put her on the World’s Athletics map.

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Immediately after her historic triumph, Semenya underwent a gender test in August the same year just before the World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

Ironically, the unsuspecting prodigy was kept unaware of the tests purposes.

Just after the tests were carried out, Semenya proceeded to win the 800m world championships, breaking her own initial record in the previous month.

However, as the celebrations were still fresh, her gender test results leaked out to the media, indicating that there was high levels of testosterone hormones in her system, a report that nearly destroyed her career.

Then in three months later, a report came out indicating that the talented athlete possessed both male and female traits.

Semenya was put under intense scrutiny, until in July 2010 when IAAF handed her the green light to compete again.

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The scrutiny did not discourage Sememnya who went on to clinch the gold medal in 800m in an event organised IAAF in Berlin.

In August 2012, Semenya rose to the occasion once again, this time walking away with a silver medal in London Olympics in the 800m female category.

She was later on elevated to the gold medal winning after Russian Maria Savinov was slapped with a life ban over doping.

In 2016, Semenya bagged gold medal in 800m Rio Olympics, an event that was held in Brazil with competitors questioning her victory.

In July 2017, IAAF came out with a finding that female athletes with huge testosterone levels had advantages over their competitors with same hormones in low quantities.

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These research findings prompted the world athletics organisers to introduce new rules for female runners with high testosterone levels in April 2018. Semenya appealed against the regulation, terming it ‘unfair’.

In February this year, Semenya’s legal case commences in which she lost against IAAF in early May, but went on to make another appeal before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court on May 29.

Finally, Semenya had the last laugh though perhaps temporarily after the Swiss court shelved the controversial regulation.

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