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Semenya’s legal team hits back at IAAF

The two-time Olympic 800-metres champion is looking to overturn eligibility rules for hyperandrogenic athletes proposed by the track and field’s governing body.

South Africa's 800 metres Olympic champion Caster Semenya (right) and her lawyer Gregory Nott (centre) leave a landmark hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in Lausanne, on 18 February 2019. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Caster Semenya’s legal team has hit back at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in her landmark case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, where she will go toe-to-toe with the athletics governing body.

South Africa’s two-time Olympic 800-metres champion is looking to overturn eligibility rules for hyperandrogenic athletes proposed by the track and field’s governing body.

On Monday morning, the IAAF shared a press release disclosing the names of the expert witnesses it will be using in its case against female athletes with high testosterone levels.

Semenya’s legal team believe the arbitration proceedings are subject to strict confidentiality provisions and the IAAF’s information should never have been released.

WATCH: IAAF is being sexist towards Caster Semenya

Semenya’s team believes the IAAF are in a clear breach of the confidentiality provisions and feel it was orchestrated to influence public opinion in the sensitive case.

Her landmark case got underway on Monday, and the hearing is scheduled for five days where her legal team is expected to lay out evidence supporting her argument and to discredit the IAAF’s proposed new laws.

Semenya’s team will in turn publicly release information on Tuesday responding to the IAAF and will include the names of experts who are testifying in support of Semenya’s case.

The IAAF wants women with naturally elevated testosterone to be obligated to take suppressants that lower their levels before being allowed to compete in middle distance races.

A verdict is expected next month where her running future will be decided by three judges. The case is potentially one of the most ethically controversial in the sports court’s 35-year history.

Graphic showing the Olympic and World Championship record of South African athlete Caster Semenya.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)