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Caster takes legal action

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“I am very upset that I have been pushed into the public spotlight again. I don’t like talking about this new rule"

South Africa's Caster Semenya. Picture: AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili

THREE-TIME world champion Caster Semenya yesterday filed a legal challenge to the controversial IAAF female classification rules, saying “she just wants to run naturally the way she was born”.

Semenya’s lawyers said their client would launch the challenge at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland “to ensure, safeguard and protect the rights of all women”.

“She asserts that the regulations are discriminatory, irrational, unjustifiable, and in violation of the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) constitution, the Olympic Charter, the laws of Monaco (where the IAAF is based), the laws of jurisdictions in which international competitions are held, and of universally recognised human rights,” international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright said.

Semenya said: “I am very upset that I have been pushed into the public spotlight again. I don’t like talking about this new rule.

“I just want to run naturally, the way I was born. It is not fair that I am told I must change. It is not fair that people question who I am. I am Mokgadi Caster Semenya. I am a woman and I am fast.”

The IAAF has introduced a new policy in April attempting to regulate women that naturally produce testosterone levels above five nanomoles per litre of blood.

For now, the regulations are limited to athletes that compete in events ranging from the 400m to the mile.

The global athletics governing body’s amended regulations would go into effect in November and would require female athletes to maintain testosterone levels to below five nanomoles per litre for a continuous period of at least six months.

Semenya will ask the IAAF to suspend the implementation of the regulations until her legal challenge is finally disposed of.