South Africa-Sports-Semenya

S/African minister joins Semenya in fight against new IAAF regulations

APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

South African Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa on Wednesday night flew to Switzerland to join experts that have been assembled in support of Olympic champion Caster Semenya in her battle against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)’s discriminatory rules at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

Semenya went before CAS on Monday to challenge proposed IAAF rules that would force her to lower her testosterone levels before she competes at international events in the future.

Xasa said her “responsibility will be to convey the message of support from President Cyril Ramaphosa” and the South African government.

“I will also have an opportunity to listen to the deliberations of both parties (Athletics South Africa and IAAF) which are based on Scientific Research and Human Rights Principles‚ give support to our team of experts and witnesses currently in support and representing ASA and Caster Semenya,” the minister said.

She added: "I will also engage members of the media and address the international community on South Africa’s stance on human rights principles and scientific research in relation to female classification or reclassification.”

Semenya and her team have accused the IAAF leadership led by Briton Sebastian Coe of targeting the athletic superstar because she was an African woman, and the new rules drafted to force her to take drugs to reduce her naturally occurring testosterone levels were an abuse of her human rights and discriminatory in nature.

Ironically, the same IAAF is at the forefront of punishing Kenyan athletes and others for taking drugs to improve their athletic performances and here is the very (IAAF) turning round to force Semenya to take drugs to slow down her performances on the track.

The South African government said it would not accept this discriminatory and Semenya-targeted rule from the IAAF against their national and international superstar.

NM/jn/APA

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