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Olympic Champion Caster Semenya To Appeal Ban At European Court Of Human Rights

Olympic Champion Caster Semenya To Appeal Ban At European Court Of Human Rights

Caster Semenya is heading straight to the European Court of Human Rights to appeal her lenghty ban.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist was barred from competing in future track events by World Athletics due to the abnormally-high levels of testosterone in her body.

But now she's fighting back, with her lawyers set to challenge "demeaning and intrusive regulations" implemented by the sport's governing body which "prohibit some women athletes with naturally higher levels of testosterone from participating in international competitions".

But above all, Semenya and her legal team claim there has been a basic "violation of her rights".

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Caster Semenya. Credit: PA
Caster Semenya. Credit: PA

The South African middle-distance legend took to social media to post a press release discussing her intentions to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

She tweeted: "This fight is not just about me, it's about taking a stand and fighting for dignity, equality and the human rights of women in sport. All we ask is to be able to run free as the strong and fearless women we are!! Thank you to all of those who have stood behind me.

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After winning gold in the 800 metres at the 2009 World Championship, reports emerged that officials were conducting sex testing on Semenya.

She was eventually cleared to return to the track, but in 2019 the International Association of Athletics Federations (now World Athletics) pulled her from various events after new regulations stated that she had to needed to medically lower her testosterone levels in order to compete.

It's understood the treatments for lowering testosterone levels include using hormone-blocking injections, taking contraceptive pills on a regular basis or going under the knife.

So, of course, she refused to comply and was ultimately banned from competing.

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But it appears Semenya's lawyers are eager to fight these strict rules, insisting they "require these women to undergo humiliating and invasive physical examinations followed by harmful and experimental medical procedures if they wish to compete internationally."

World Athletics haven't exactly painted themselves in a particularly positive light when it comes to Semenya's

In the past, the governing body referred to the 30-year-old as a "biologically male" - a move that didn't sit well with the track and field community.

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Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: south africa, olympics, olympic games, Women in sport, Sex, Australia, Ban

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Max Sherry

Max Sherry is a journalist for SPORTbible Australia. After migrating Down Under from London as a teenager, he instantly fell in love with Aussie sport and its culture. From NRL to AFL, cricket to rugby — you name it, Max watches it (with a beer in hand, of course). During his time at Fox Sports, he worked in the football department covering the Premier League, A-League, Socceroos and Matildas. Born a stone's throw away from West Ham's training ground, Max is obviously a die-hard Liverpool fan.