Caster Semenya will not compete at the World Championships after a Swiss judge overturned a temporary suspension on controversial testosterone rules. The South African is the current 800-meter world champion.
The Swiss Federal Tribunal has reversed a ruling that had temporarily lifted the testosterone regulations imposed on middle distance athlete Caster Semenya by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), a spokesman for the double Olympic champion said on Tuesday.
In effect, the rule now back in place means Semenya will be forced to take hormone-reducing medication if she wants to compete. She has always steadfastly refused such action.
As a result, the 28-year-old will not be able to run in events of distances between 400 meters and a mile. She is a specialist at 800 meters and also runs the 1500 meters and 400 meters. Semenya ran while the rule was suspended earlier this year. The World Championships will begin in late September in the Qatari capital, Doha.
"I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned," Semenya said.
A statement released by Semenya's representatives said that, "a single judge of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court reversed prior rulings that had temporarily suspended the IAAF regulations pending the outcome of Caster's appeal against the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) award."
"In this latest decision, the Supreme Court emphasized the strict requirements and high thresholds for the interim suspension of CAS awards and found that these were not fulfilled."
Semenya is classified as a woman, was raised as a woman and races as a woman but the IAAF argues that certain biological differences give her an unfair advantage. Semenya is currently appealing the CAS decision to uphold the IAAF's decision.
The IAAF has previously claimed it is seeking to "to ensure fair competition for all women" by classifying women with certain 'masculine attributes' due to differences of sexual development (DSD), as biological men.
"We understand the Swiss Federal Tribunal will be publishing its full decision on this order tomorrow (Wednesday) and the IAAF will comment once the tribunal makes its reasoning public," a spokeswoman told news agency Reuters.
mp/pfd (AFP, Reuters)