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Two-Time Olympic Champion Caster Semenya Loses Landmark Testosterone Case


Caster Semenya has lost a landmark case. The South African track and field athlete who is a double Olympic champion lost an appeal against new rules regulating the testosterone levels for athletes with a difference in sex development (DSD). The decision came from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The ruling bars women with high testosterone from certain track races, according to the New York Times.

Because of the ruling, Semenya would be forced to make major changes if she wishes to continue competing in her specialty, the 800m.

From the report:

If Semenya wants to keep participating in her specialty, the 800 meters, at major international competitions, she now faces some hard choices: take hormone-suppressing drugs and reduce her testosterone levels below five nanomoles per liter for six months before competing, then maintain those lowered levels; compete against men; or enter competitions for intersex athletes, if any are offered. Otherwise, she would have to give up her eligibility to run the 800 at the most prestigious competitions like the Olympics.

Additional information on Caster Semenya can be seen below.

Who Is Caster Semenya?

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Semenya was born January 7, 1991, in Pietersburg, South Africa. She won gold medal in the 800m at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics. Semenya also claimed gold in the 2009 and 2017 World Championships.

Semenya, who was the South African Sportswoman of the Year in 2012, was subject to gender testing after the 2009 World Championships and banned from competition. She was criticized for “being too fast and supposedly too masculine.”

The condition that leads to high levels of testosterone is called hyperandrogenism.

The New York Times adds:

Female athletes above the testosterone threshold of 10 nanomoles per liter — considered at the lower end of the male range — faced the prospect of invasive, humiliating and potentially risky measures if they wanted to continue competing. These included hormone-suppressing drugs and surgery to remove internal testes, which can produce testosterone.

Semenya will have to take medication to lower her natural testosterone levels if she wishes to further compete on the international stage.

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