Caster Semenya Can Run Free—For Now—As Court Rules She Won’t Have to Take Drugs to Lower Testosterone Levels

Photo: Associated Press

Calling it a victory for women’s “human rights,” South African runner Caster Semenya and her legal team are cheering a Swiss court’s ruling that allows her to continue competing without taking testosterone-lowering drugs while she continues her appeals.

At issue is an International Association of Athletics Federation rule that governs how much natural testosterone female athletes can have in order to compete in certain track and field events, the Washington Post reports.


Last month, an arbitrator agreed with the IAAF, meaning that Semenya would need to take medications to lower her testosterone levels. Semenya appealed, resulting in the Swiss supreme court suspending the rule.

She now has a reprieve as her case makes its way through the court system, a process that could take upward of a year, according to the New York Times.

As the Post explains, Semenya, 28, “is believed to have an intersex condition that causes her body to produce higher levels of testosterone than other women. The IAAF has maintained this gives her an unfair advantage over other women competitors.”


In response to the court siding with her client, Semenya’s lawyer, Dorothee Schramm, said: “This is an important case that will have fundamental implications for the human rights of female athletes.”

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