Free to run! Caster Semenya welcomes IAAF rules suspension


Switzerland’s Federal Tribunal has temporarily suspended IAAF rules restricting Caster Semenya from running.

AFP reports that spokesman Peter Josi had confirmed that a “super-provisional order” had been issued by the court, blocking the implementation of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regulations on women runners.

The South African athlete’s lawyer, Gregg Nott, told 702 that the court has given the IAAF until the 25th of June to respond to the suspension. “We brought an application for suspension of the regulations which today we learnt was successful,” he said.

The suspension will remain in place until a hearing is held to address Semenya’s appeal of the May 1 ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in favour of the IAAF policy.

“I am thankful to the Swiss judges for this decision,” said Semenya in a statement. “I hope that following my appeal I will once again be able to run free,” she added.

The discriminatory IAAF regulations aim to force women athletes with naturally high testosterone levels, like Semenya, to take hormone medication in order to be allowed to compete in the 400m to the mile distances.

Semenya’s legal team argues that the rules violate the LGBTIQ Olympic champion’s rights to physical integrity, economic freedom and human dignity.

While the CAS acknowledged that the policy is discriminatory, it insisted that it is still “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to ensure fairness in the sport.

The IAAF rules have been condemned by human rights groups, the World Medical Association, the UN Human Rights Council, Athletics South Africa and thousands of South Africans.

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