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IAAF to fight Swiss court testosterone ruling

Athletics governing body the IAAF is fight a Swiss court decision to suspend rules obliging athletes, including double Olympic champion Caster Semenya, to lower their testosterone levels © AFP / Karim JAAFAR

PARIS, France, Jun 5 – The IAAF said Tuesday it will fight a Swiss court decision to suspend its rules obliging athletes, including double Olympic champion Caster Semenya, to lower their testosterone levels in order to compete in certain events.

Switzerland’s highest court on Monday temporarily suspended the IAAF rules following an appeal by Semenya, the South African who won the women’s 800 metres at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

The athlete was contesting a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport which previously found that the rules were “discriminatory” but “necessary” to ensure fairness in women’s athletics.

“The IAAF will continue to fight for equal rights and opportunities for all women and girls in our sport today and in the future,” the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said in a statement, adding that it was committed to the “full participation of women” in athletics.

It said it would “seek a swift reversion of the super-provisional order moving forwards”.

The IAAF and Semenya’s legal team must now make further submissions to the court, which will decide on whether to order a longer suspension of the measures.

The rules require women with higher than normal male hormone levels, a condition known as hyperandrogenism, to lower the amount of testosterone in their bodies artificially if they are to compete in races over distances of 400m to the mile.

Semenya has confirmed that she will take part in the rarely-run distance of 2,000 metres at a meeting in Montreuil in the Paris suburbs on June 11.

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