South Africa & World

Caster Simenya Approaches European Court

Caster Simenya
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By Staff Reporter

Caster Simenya

South African sprinter and Olympic champion Caster Semenya has taken a bold move in her fight to participate in women’s sports.

Simenya has filled applications to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), her latest bid to “put an end to the longstanding human rights violations by World Athletics against women athletes.” The lawsuit from the two-time Olympic champion challenges restrictions on testosterone levels in female athletes that prevents certain women from participating in international sports competitions.

Semenya shared a press release from her lawyers, Norton Rose Fulbright, in a tweet saying, “Semenya’s ongoing fight for dignity, equality, and the human rights of women in sport took a crucial step forward with the filing of an application” reads the tweet.

The lawsuit asks that the Strasbourg court find that “Switzerland has failed in its positive obligations to protect her against the violation of her rights.”

Meanwhile, in September 2020, Semenya lost her long-running legal battle at Switzerland’s Supreme Court, preventing her from competing at the Tokyo Olympics unless she agrees to medical interventions to lower her testosterone.

She had appealed against a 2019 ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport based in Switzerland that upheld 2018 rules from the international athletics governing body World Athletics that prohibit some female runners with naturally higher levels of testosterone from participating in international women’s sports competitions.

She has been accused of being a man and with regulations involve “sex testing” for women’s participation in sport, which violates several internationally protected human rights including rights to privacy, dignity health and non-discrimination.

Robert Tapfumaneyi

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