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IAAF: Testosterone rules not targeting any athlete

The IAAF has reiterated that it’s new policy to regulation the testosterone levels in female athletes is not targeting any athletes after a meeting with Athletics South Africa in London on Tuesday.

Caster Semenya wins the women's 800m event at the Oslo Diamon League meeting on 7 June 2018. Picture: @Diamond_League/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has reiterated that it’s new policy to regulation the testosterone levels in female athletes competing in the 400m, 800m and 1,500m events is not targeting any athletes after a meeting with Athletics South Africa in London on Tuesday.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe made it clear that no individual athlete has been targeted in the creation of the regulations and explained that the athletics governing body and its member federations needed to ensure its sport is as inclusive as possible, but that there is also a responsibility to ensure fair and meaningful competition for all athletes to reward them for the huge commitment and sacrifice required to excel in the sport, and to inspire new generations to join the sport and aspire to the same excellence.

“To do this we need to create competition categories within our sport that ensures that success is determined by talent, dedication and hard work, rather than by other factors that are not considered fair or meaningful, such as the enormous physical advantages that an adult has over a child, or a male athlete has over a female athlete,” said Coe.

President of Athletics South Africa, Aleck Skhosana, stressed that the federation and the South African Department of Sport & Recreation and Sascoc had a duty to protect all athletes, including female athletes who may fall foul of these new regulations.

“While we have been talking to the IAAF since 10 May 2018, we would have preferred more consultation in the development of these regulations. We will support our athletes on the grounds that the regulations discriminate against certain female athletes on the basis of natural physical characteristics and/or sex.” Said Skhosana.

According to the joint statement released by both the IAAF and ASA, the meeting in London was cordial, with both parties agreeing that the Court of Arbitration for Sport was the right body to rule on the matter and that both parties will respect its ruling.