Semenya files a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights

Published on : 25/02/2021 – 14:16Modified : 25/02/2021 – 14:15

South African athlete Caster Semenya, barred from participating in some races because she refuses treatment to lower her testosterone levels, appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), his lawyers said Thursday .

Johannesburg (AFP)

« Semenya’s ongoing fight for the dignity, equality and fundamental rights of women in sport has reached a crucial milestone with the filing of a petition At the ECHR, his lawyers said in a statement.

The 29-year-old sportswoman has a natural excess of male sex hormones. For more than ten years, she has been in a standoff with the International Athletics Federation, World Athletics (ex-IAAF).

Expertise in support, the federation defined in April 2018 a maximum threshold of testosterone (5 nmol / L of blood) to compete with women over distances ranging from 400 meters to a mile (1609 m), and therefore encompassing the 800 meters where the South African excels.

The double Olympic champion has already lost several appeals.

The Swiss Supreme Court confirmed in August, on behalf of “ sports fairness “, The decision last year of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS), thus validating the regulations of World Athletics which define a maximum threshold of testosterone.

On February 19, she therefore decided to bring the case before the ECHR in Strasbourg.

His lawyers believe that Swiss justice has ” failed in her obligations to protect her against violation of her rights under the European Convention on Human Rights ».

«All we want is to be allowed to run free once and for all, like the strong and courageous women that we are and always have been. Caster Semenya explains in the press release.

No date has yet been set by the Court.

The athlete, who is trying to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, decided to compete in the 200m.


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