Olympian’s Lawyers Argue Against “Flawed” Testosterone Limit for Women

Caster Semenya’s legal team is hitting back against the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Caster Semenya
South Africa's Caster Semenya is fighting for her right to compete as a woman. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

South African track star Caster Semenya and her lawyers argued on the second day of her case against the International Association of Athletics Federations that its proposed testosterone limit for women is “flawed” and “hurtful.”

The two-time Olympic champion is challenging the IAAF’s new eligibility rules for female athletes in a landmark case for intersex and transgender women in all sports, The Guardian reported.

Semenya has a condition known as hyperandrogenism, which is characterized by excessive levels of androgens — male sex hormones such as testosterone — in the female body and the associated effects of the elevated androgen levels.

On Monday the IAAF named five of the expert witnesses it is calling this week to support its case, a move that Semenya’s legal team is trying to argue against as a “clear breach” of the confidentiality rules put in place and a clear attempt “to influence public opinion.”

“Ms Semenya believes that she and other women affected by the regulations should be permitted to compete in the female category without discrimination, and celebrated for their natural talents as are all other athletes with genetic variations,” her lawyers said in a statement.

“The IAAF’s regulations do not empower anyone,” they continued. “Rather, they represent yet another flawed and hurtful attempt to police the sex of female athletes. Ms Semenya’s courage and perseverance in her fight to run free is an inspiration to young athletes in her home country of South Africa and around the globe.”

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