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Caster Semenya gives perfect response to IAAF 'testosterone rule' with 5000m national champs win

Caster Semenya gives perfect response to IAAF 'testosterone rule' with 5000m national champs win
South African middle distance runner Caster Semenya has given the perfect response to the IAAF's testosterone limit rule by winning the women’s 5000m at the national championships, an event not covered by the proposed regulation.

The two-time 800m Olympic champion stormed to victory at the South African Athletics Championships, raising questions over whether she will switch over to longer distances to avoid testosterone restrictions implemented by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

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The ruling, which should have come into effect last November, requires any female athlete, including those with Difference of Sexual Development (DSD), to have a testosterone level below 5 nmol/L to be approved for international events.

The new regulation doesn’t affect all track and field disciplines, extending only to Semenya’s favorite middle distances – from 400m to 1,500m – prompting the South African runner to complain that the rule was purposely directed against her.


The 28-year-old filed a lawsuit with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) aiming to overturn the IAAF’s testosterone ruling which she finds discriminatory and unfair.

The CAS, which earlier postponed its decision on the pivotal case, is expected to announce its verdict by the end of the month.

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If the CAS rejects Semenya’s appeal, the runner will be obliged to reduce her naturally high level of testosterone to be able to compete internationally. However, the runner will not be required to take medication if she competes in events not affected by the testosterone rule.