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26 Jun, 2019 10:54

‘This is biology, not gender identity’: IAAF submits response to Swiss court on Caster Semenya case

‘This is biology, not gender identity’: IAAF submits response to Swiss court on Caster Semenya case

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has submitted a response to the Swiss Federal Tribunal aiming to overturn its temporary ban on the decision obliging female athletes to reduce high testosterone levels.

On Tuesday, the athletics governing body filed its response to the court providing a detailed explanation of why testosterone restrictions are necessary in women’s sports.

READ MORE: 'They used me as a human guinea pig': Caster Semenya slams IAAF over testosterone reduction drugs

"The IAAF fully respects each individual’s personal dignity and supports the social movement to have people accepted in society based on their chosen legal sex and/or gender identity," the IAAF said.

"However, it is also committed to female athletes having the same opportunities as male athletes to benefit from athletics, be that as elite female athletes participating in fair and meaningful competition, as young girls developing life and sport skills, or as administrators or officials."

Also on rt.com 'No human can stop me running': Caster Semenya defiant after winning 800m at Diamond League

The athletics body also emphasized that it pursues the goal of ensuring equal competition "where eligibility is based on biology and not on gender identity."

Last year, the IAAF implemented new regulations requiring any female athlete, including those with differences of sex development (DSD), to have a testosterone level below 5 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L).

Semenya attempted to challenge the ruling, which she deemed unfair, filing an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Also on rt.com Swiss court 'clears Semenya to compete without lowering testosterone'

However, her appeal was rejected after the IAAF was deemed to have presented enough evidence in court to prove that higher testosterone levels give athletes a significant advantage over competitors.

The two-time 800m Olympic champion appealed the decision in Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court, which temporarily suspended the IAAF's testosterone ruling allowing Semenya to compete without medically reducing her testosterone while her appeal is pending.