SA Rugby has pledged its support for Caster Semenya ahead of this week’s court hearing on the IAAF’s proposed rules that would force her to lower her testosterone levels.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has touted rules that would force so-called ‘hyperandrogenic’ athletes or those with ‘differences of sexual development’ (DSD) to medically lower their testosterone levels below a prescribed amount.
According to the athletics governing body, the implementation of such a rule is to promote what it says will be fairer competition between all female athletes.
Semenya, the 800m Olympic champion, is challenging the rule in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. And speaking of behalf of SA Rugby, president Mark Alexander has given her his full backing.
‘Caster Semenya is a national treasure and someone all South Africans should be immensely proud of, and we fully support her in this fight, which we see as discriminatory to women,’ Alexander said.
‘We firmly believe that she is being unfairly targeted in this hearing as it excludes participants in items such as sprints and longer distances.
‘Caster is a double Olympic gold medallist and a three-time world champion and she won these titles, as well as all her other accolades, through sheer determination, hard work and talent.
‘Adversity is nothing new to her and every time she deservedly made it to the top. Caster is someone who motivates us as South Africans to stand up against discrimination and to always remain humble and work hard. We are 100% behind her.’
Photo: Mark Shearman/EPA