Caster Semenya is not a threat to women’s sport, say runner’s lawyers
South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya has responded to recent comments made by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe regarding gender classification in women’s sport.
The IAAF chief gave an interview to Australia’s Daily Telegraph last weekend explaining his stance on the much-discussed testosterone limit rule, which the athletics governing body aims to implement in women’s events.
“The reason we have gender classification is because if you didn’t then no woman would ever win another title or another medal or break another record in our sport,” Coe said.
Responding to Coe’s comments through her lawyers, Semenya rebuked the statements that insinuated she was undermining the basic principles of women’s sport, and expressed hope that one day she will be “accepted for who she is.”Also on rt.com Unfair advantage or biological specifics? CAS delays pivotal decision on Semenya testosterone case
“Reading the comments of Mr Coe this weekend opened those old wounds and the reference by the Daily Telegraph (Australia) to ‘the muscle-packed Semenya’ is just the latest illustration of how the issues have been distorted by innuendo,” the statement reads.
“Mr Coe is wrong to think Ms Semenya is a threat to women’s sport. Ms Semenya is a heroine and inspirational role model for young girls around the world who dream of achieving excellence in sport.
“Ms Semenya hopes and dreams that one day she can run free of judgment, free of discrimination and in a world where she is accepted for who she is.”
The two-time Olympic champion is attempting to overturn the ruling which requires female athletes with a naturally high level of testosterone to medically reduce the levels to be eligible to compete internationally.
The much-anticipated decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has been postponed until late April after both parties presented new materials to the court.