South Africa-Sports-Semenya

SA rallies behind Semenya in IAAF row

APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

South Africa’s world 800m champion and Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya is receiving an outpouring of support from the public and the South African government in her fight with the IAAF to force her to take hormone reducing drugs.

The public and Pretoria’s backing at the weekend follows claims in a news report that lawyers for the Briton Sebastian Coe-led International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will argue that Semenya be classified as a "biological male."

In a statement, the IAAF denied the claims: "The IAAF is not classifying any differences of sexual development (DSD) as male. To the contrary, we accept their legal sex without question."

South Africa’s Sports Ministry spokesman Vuyo Mhaga said: "Our stance has always been that someone like Caster, who has never injected anything in her body, must be allowed to compete" as any other naturally born athlete.

Soon after the news broke, South Africans took to Twitter to express their support for Semenya, with some calling on the federation to stop harassing her due to her being black and African.

Said Mikateko Ndlovu: “Every time a black person starts superseding white people, whether professionally or athletically, they (white people) start changing the rules.”

On her part, another fan who only gave her name as jelanTé @BANTUFAG, said: “ No one is hated like Caster Semenya. No one is being abused like #CasterSemenya . Yet she is still standing strong.”

Craig Searle @dingosynch added: “#CasterSemenya is a WOMAN and should run with WOMEN. The fact that the IAAF made her take a test to verify her gender is outrageous. She is just gifted. But sporting authorities want to force her to take drugs if she wants to continue to compete. That's fucked up.”


NM/as/APA

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