Biology trumps gender identity in sport – IAAF welcomes Swiss court's Semenya ruling

By Sports Desk July 31, 2019

Caster Semenya has been denied the chance to defend her 800 metres World Athletics Championships title following a ruling by a Swiss court that has been welcomed by the IAAF.

The double Olympic champion had been given permission to race without restriction after lodging an appeal with the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland (SFT) against the Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) verdict in her case against the IAAF.

CAS ruled the IAAF could implement a regulation that would require Semenya to take medication to lower her testosterone levels to take part in women's track events ranging from 400m to a mile.

But on Tuesday a judge with the Swiss Federal Tribunal overturned the SFT's decision to allow Semenya to compete while it assessed the case in a move praised by the governing body of international athletics.

"The IAAF welcomes the Swiss Federal Tribunal's decision to revoke its Super-Provisional Order of 31 May 2019 after hearing the IAAF's arguments," a statement read.

"This decision creates much-needed parity and clarity for all athletes as they prepare for the World Championships in Doha this September.

"In the remainder of the proceedings before the SFT, the IAAF will maintain its position that there are some contexts, sport being one of them, where biology has to trump gender identity."

In her own response to the latest ruling, Semenya remained defiant.

"I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned," she said.

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