‘I’d compare my life with Jesus, I've been crucified’ – Semenya on IAAF testosterone battle
South African runner Caster Semenya says she has been “crucified” over her battle with the IAAF regarding testosterone levels in female athletes.
Two-time Olympic 800m champion Semenya, 28, is engaged in a fight with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) over proposed rules that would require competitors with differences of sexual development (DSD) to limit testosterone levels, should they wish to take part in track events from 400m to the mile.
The ruling is seen as being prompted by Semenya, who is believed to have internal testes and has naturally high levels of testosterone.
The South African has dominated at the 800m since bursting onto the scene at the World Championships in Berlin a decade ago, but under the new rulings she would be required to take testosterone-reducing medication.
A Swiss federal court has temporarily suspended the IAAF’s ruling, meaning she can compete while an appeal is pending, and Semenya won the 800m at the Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California, over the weekend.
Afterwards, she told the BBC that she was being “crucified” amid her battle with the IAAF and said it was destroying her “physically and mentally."
"I cannot say I've been victimized. I think I set an example,” she said.
“I think I'm in this world for a reason. I think I am a living testimony. I would say I'm a savior.
"If you read the Bible you will understand what I'm talking about. If I may compare my life, I would compare my life with Jesus. I've been crucified, I've been done bad.
"But at the end of the day I'm still here, am still alive. I am still standing,” she added defiantly.Also on rt.com ‘This is biology, not gender identity’: IAAF submits response to Swiss court on Caster Semenya case
Semenya questioned the need for the new IAAF rules, saying: "It's very simple here, when you introduced sports, you never said people with differences, cannot run with other people.
“You do not say we categorize men because they have got long legs, they have got long arms. They have those long strides. Others are short.
“You don't categorize them like that. You categorise them as women and men.”
She also vowed that if she ultimately lost her appeal against the IAAF plans, she would not run at this year’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
"If I'm not running 800m, I'm not running in the world championships. My goals are to defend my world title. So if I'm not allowed I'm not allowed.
“I'm just going to take a vacation and then come back next year," she added.
The IAAF had initially been backed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport over its new rules, and submitted a response to the Swiss federal court at the end of June. It has said it is hoping for a “swift” resolution to the case.
"The IAAF will continue to defend its DSD Regulations and the CAS Award… because it continues to believe in equal rights and opportunities for all women and girls in our sport today and in the future,” it said.Also on rt.com Caster Semenya testosterone ruling: Common sense prevails, but we must have sympathy