Semenya takes testosterone rule to court in the European Court of Justice More sports news


JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya has filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights against testosterone restrictions in female athletes, her lawyers said on Thursday.
The World Athletics governing body banned Semenya and other female athletes with differences in sexual development (DSD) from running between 400 meters and a mile in 2018 unless they were taking hormone-suppressing drugs.
The 30-year-old Semenya has unsuccessfully challenged these rules before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the Federal Court of Justice.
On February 19, she made another new attempt – to bring the matter to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
“Semenya’s ongoing struggle for dignity, equality and the human rights of women in sport has taken a decisive step forward with the filing of an application,” announced her lawyer Norton Rose Fulbright in a statement to the ECHR.
According to the lawyers, she is asking the court to determine that Switzerland “has not fulfilled its positive obligations to protect against violations of its rights under the European Convention on Human Rights”.
In its judgment last year, the Swiss court came to the conclusion that the CAS decision “cannot be challenged”.
However, Semenya hopes that the European Court’s latest offer will “end World Athletics’ longstanding human rights abuses against women athletes”.
“We are only asking to be allowed to run free once and for all, like the strong and fearless women we are and always have been,” she is quoted in the statement.
No dates have yet been set for the hearing of the case.
In the meantime, the athlete has yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
She had already decided to compete in the 200m before the Olympics were postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.