- Semenya termed the move to be compelled to take testosterone suppressants unfair and discriminatory
- Regardless, she along with others who have rare differences of sexual development (DSD), will have to regulate their testosterone levels if they are to compete in track events
- Failure to adhere to this directive by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) could lead to Semenya competing in another distance
Olympics 800m champion Caster Semenya may find it hard to defend her titles after losing a landmark case against athletics governing body IAAF.
Semenya will now have to take medication to regulate her testosterone levels if she is to compete in the international stage at all.
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The decision was announced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and it came after the 28-year-old South African tried to challenge the new IAAF rules.
What this means is that Semenya, an Olympic, world and Commonwealth champion at 800m, along with other athletes who have rare differences of sexual development (DSD), will have to regulate their testosterone levels if they are to compete in track events ranging from 400 metres to one mile.
Otherwise, they would be forced to take up other events which typically entail long distances.
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She had previously termed the move "unfair" because she wished to compete naturally since she was born that way.
While CAS found the rules for athletes with DSD a bit discriminatory, it also insisted it was a necessary precaution that needed to be taken in order to protect the integrity of female athletes.
Semenya, despite her outstanding record in track and field, has not had it easy off the tracks as she has consistently been criticised over her physique and abilities as a woman.
She reacted to the news of the ultimatum she had been given by simply tweeting, "Sometimes, it is better to react with no reaction,"
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Biologically, men tend to perform better than women when it comes to exercises that require a high endurance for a short span of time, and testosterone levels play a huge factor in that.
By adulthood, men have 20 times more testosterone than women.
Because female athletes with DSDs tend to be born with male attributes including high testosterone levels and concern has been raised that they have an unfair advantage over other female athletes.
Semenya took the IAAF to court, arguing that being compelled to take hormone suppressants was not only unfair and discriminatory but also posed a health risk.
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