The IAAF announced last Tuesday it had agreed to postpone by five months the implementation of controversial new rules on high testosterone levels in female athletes to avoid further delay in proceedings brought by South African track star Caster Semenya challenging their legality.
World track and field’s governing body had scheduled November 1 as the date they wanted to introduce the rules that have split opinion: many female athletes welcome the new rules as a way to create a fairer playing field while others such as Semenya argue it is discriminatory.
“A contested application to stay the implementation of the DSD regulations would have caused additional delay and created new uncertainty for athletes seeking to compete in the women’s category,” the IAAF said in a statement.
Semenya, with the backing of the South African athletics federation (ASA), has turned to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in her challenge of IAAF rules.
The powerfully-built Semenya, double Olympic 800m champion (2012, 2016) and three-time world champion (2009, 2011, 2017), is potentially the highest-profile female athlete that would be affected by such regulations.—AFP