It’s official! Caster Semenya to appeal CAS ruling

Pic: Citizen59

Athletics South Africa (ASA) will appeal the discriminatory decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against Caster Semenya.

It was also revealed that South Africa’s Department of Sport and Recreation will approach the United Nations General Assembly to sanction the IAAF “for violating International Human Rights Instruments.”

Sports minister Tokozile Xasa made the announcement in a statement on Monday and said that the appeal would be based on three factors.

The first was that two of the three CAS arbitrators should not have taken part in the decision as they had been involved in the similar case of Indian sprinter Dutee Chand in 2015. The ASA believes there is a conflict of interest and that they should be rescued.

The minister also argued that the strength of scientific, medical and legal evidence provided in favour of Semenya was far stronger than that submitted against her.

Finally, Xasa stated that the CAS’s ruling did not provide sufficient legal clarity on how the policy is mean to be implemented. “The court simply gave the unfettered latitude to the IAAF to do as it pleases.  For instance‚ it has not been answered as to how the IAAF will implement the regulations and how ethical issues will be addressed‚” said the ministry.

Earlier this month, the CAS ruled in favour of the new IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) policy requiring women athletes with specific differences in sex development to medically reduce their natural blood testosterone.

South African Olympian Caster Semenya had challenged the regulations, arguing that they are a violation of her human rights and natural-born talent. While the CAS acknowledged that the policy is discriminatory, it ruled that it is still “necessary, reasonable and proportionate.”

The IAAF policy has been condemned by human rights groups, the World Medical Association, the UN Human Rights Council, and thousands of South Africans.

The appeal must be filed by the end of May.

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