South Africa’s double Olympic 800 metres champion Caster Semenya has lost her appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal to set aside a 2019 Court of Arbitration (CAS) ruling that female athletes with a high natural level of testosterone must take medication to reduce it, reports Reuters.
Semenya approached the tribunal in May last year after CAS, sport’s highest court, ruled that World Athletics regulations were necessary for athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) in races ranging from 400 metres to a mile, to ensure fair competition.
Through her legal team, Semenya filed an appeal to Switzerland’s highest court against rules requiring middle-distance female athletes with a high natural level of testosterone to reduce it via medication.
Semenya said at the time: “I am a woman and I am a world-class athlete. The IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) will not drug me.”
In a case splitting opinion in women’s sport, Semenya lost an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on May 1 which ruled the IAAF’s rules were necessary for athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) to ensure fair competition.
She then appealed to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to set aside CAS’s decision in its entirety, which it said did not consider medical protocols and uncertain health consequences of taking testosterone-reducing medication.
Under the new regulations, female athletes with high natural levels of testosterone wishing to compete in events from 400 meters to a mile must medically limit that level to under five nmol/L, double the normal female range of below two nmol/L.
Semenya has repeatedly stated she will not take medication to comply with the regulations, which came into effect on May 8, but she has also vowed to continue to compete in the 800 meters.