Semenya to feel heat of IAAF's new hyperandrogenism rule

South Africa's Caster Semenya celebrates winning gold in the woman's 800m final at Carrara Stadium during the

South Africa's Caster Semenya celebrates winning gold in the woman's 800m final at Carrara Stadium during the

New eligibility rules being drafted by IAAF will directly impact on Caster Semenya.

New rules have been announced for athletes with "differences of sexual development (DSD)" who compete in track events from 400m to one mile.

However, in July 2015, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reversed that IAAF regulation after Indian sprinter Dutee Chand won a landmark case which allowed inter-sex athletes to run without testosterone-suppressing medication.

The rules stipulate that athletes with DSD need to be, "recognised at law either as female or as intersex", and "must reduce her blood testosterone level to below five (5) nmol/L for a continuous period of at least six months", and then, "maintain her blood testosterone level.for as long as she wishes to remain eligible".

Semenya will therefore have to switch to 5,000m and 10,000m if she refuses to take the medication. "It's good for the sport", added Chemos who is the athletes' representative in AK. The IAAF must show that female athletes with higher total T (testosterone) have a performance difference that approximates what male athletes typically have over female athletes; not that female athletes with higher T have any competitive advantage over their peers.

IAAF approved the proposal, first raised in March, to set a limit on the permissible naturally produced testosterone in female competitors running the 400, 800 and 1,500 metres. The IAAF will later this year limit entry for all worldwide events from 400 meters through the mile to women with testosterone levels below a specified level.

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The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has for years struggled to create a "level playing field" for female athletes while respecting Semenya's rights.

Although opinions on these regulations in relation to Semenya vary, many South Africans and observers of the IAAF on Twitter believe this is a ploy to bring her down. "No hyperandrogenic athlete has cheated", IAAF president Lord Coe said on the subject last month.

The new IAAF rules could yet be challenged at CAS.

"I call upon all South Africans to stand firm in opposing these Caster Semenya regulations as they are created to disadvantage Caster in her career". Semenya won gold in the same event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and has lowered her personal best to 1:55.16, which has her knocking on the door of Jarmila Kratochvílová's 1:53.28 world record.

According to Dr Stephane Bermon from the IAAF medical and science department, the treatment to reduce testosterone levels is a hormone supplement similar to the contraceptive pill.

But Sport and Recreation Minister Toko Xasa said she believed the new regulations would impact Semenya negatively in her participation as an athlete in the global arena.

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