Semenya steps up fight as Morocco blocks her from 800m event

Semenya steps up fight as Morocco blocks her from 800m event

South Africa's Caster Semenya celebrates after winning the women's 800m during the IAAF Diamond League competition on May 3, 2019 in Doha. Picture: Karim JAAFAR / AFP

‘No woman should be subjected to these rules. I will run now to show the IAAF that they cannot drug us,’ Caster said on Thursday night.

Fresh from winning the 2,000m race in Montreuil, east of Paris on Tuesday, Caster Semenya is facing a new battle – this time after Morocco, in contravention of a decision by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, barred her from running the 800m.

Her legal team said in a press release that the president of the Moroccan Athletics Federation has denied her participation in the 800m event at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat on June 16.

The Swiss court ruled on May 31 that the IAAF’s regulations be suspended while Semenya appeals the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled in the IAAF’s favour.

In her statement on Thursday evening, she said she wanted to take part in the 800m, despite having second thoughts at first.

“No woman should be subjected to these rules. I thought hard about not running the 800m in solidarity, unless all women can run free. But I will run now to show the IAAF that they cannot drug us,” she said.

This comes after the IAAF had gone back to the Swiss Supreme Court and urgently asked it to “immediately re-impose its eligibility regulations” on Semenya and other athletes with differences in sexual development, who have higher testosterone levels than those permitted by the IAAF, IOL reports.

The court rejected the request on Wednesday, which means that Semenya and other affected athletes can run in any event until her appeal has been finalised.

“I am a woman, but the IAAF has again tried to stop me from running the way I was born,” Semenya said in the press release.

“The IAAF questions my sex, causes me great pain and required me to take hormonal drugs that made me feel constantly sick and unable to focus for many years.

“No other woman should be forced to go through this in order to have the same right that all women have – to do what we love and run the way we were born.”

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