After much public speculation, the Olympian gold medallist finally has filed an appeal with the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland after decision by the Court Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to uphold the IAAF’s female eligibility regulations.
According to a statement by Semenya’s lawyers: “Ms Semenya’s appeal focuses on fundamental human rights.
“In particular‚ the Swiss Federal Supreme Court will be asked to consider whether the IAAF’s requirements for compulsory drug interventions violate essential and widely recognised public policy values‚ including the prohibition against discrimination‚ the right to physical integrity‚ the right to economic freedom‚ and respect for human dignity.”
CAS ruled against Semenya in her case against the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) in which they wanted to adopt new rules that require female athletes with Differences of Sex Development (DSD) to take medication to lower naturally occurring high levels of testosterone.
CAS stated that the new rules were discriminatory but necessary.
Semenya only had 30 days to appeal the ruling.
The star athlete has continuously refused to take any medication, citing that it’s gender discrimination.
“I am a woman and I am a world-class athlete. The IAAF will not drug me or stop me from being who I am,” said Semenya.
Despite not being able to compete in 400m to a mile events unless she takes medication, the athlete will be competing in a 3000m race, which is outside the gender rules, in the US at the end of June.
According to Semenya’s lawyer in Geneva, Dorothee Schramm, they are “in the race for justice‚ human rights must win over sporting interests.”
Her lawyer Greg Nott, expressed grave concerns about the IAAF’s views.
“Such views are based not in modern science or medicine,” he explained.
Steve Cornelius, a Professor of Private Law from the University of Pretoria, wrote about how Semenya’s issue goes beyond the debate about sexual development.
“It goes to the fundamental root of human dignity, of privacy of every athlete who participates at the World Championships.,” he shared.
“There are ethical concerns about the way in which the research was conducted that led to the decision. The legal concerns revolve around serious fundamental rights concerns, in particular in the way a number of female athletes have been treated.”