Lausanne (AP) – Two-time 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya does not want to give up her lengthy legal battle after the groundbreaking decision of the Swiss federal court in Lausanne.
“I will continue to fight for the human rights of women athletes, for those on and off the track – until we can all run as free as we were born,” the South African said in a press release.
The Swiss Federal Supreme Court had issued a ruling that Semenya’s complaint was dismissed. The 29-year-old had taken action against a judgment of the International Sports Court Cas. At the heart of the legal dispute was a controversial World Athletics Federation rule about the testosterone limit for medium-distance runners with intersex skills.
Semenya left open whether she is still trying to file a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Her lawyer Dorothee Schramm made it clear: “This decision is a call to action – as a society we cannot allow a sports association to ignore basic human rights.”
The rule demands that Semenya must lower her natural testosterone level through medication, which the three-time world champion refuses. However, for the association, Semenya is one of the “biologically male athletes with female gender identities”. It is therefore not allowed to start in races of more than 400 meters to one mile.