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Sports scientist Ross Tucker previously said IAAF study is flawed

Caster Semenya is asking the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland to overturn eligibility rules for middle distance female runners with high testosterone levels.

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

CAPE TOWN - Caster Semenya's legal team, in conjunction with the South Africa Sports Department, has consulted world-renowned South African sports scientist Ross Tucker.

The two-time Olympic 800-meter champion is asking the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland to overturn eligibility rules for middle distance female runners with high testosterone levels.

The new regulations have been proposed by athletics world governing body, the IAAF.

Dr Tucker has been part of a South African high-level panel to deal with the Semenya 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.

Speaking on the subject on YouTube in 2018, before Semenya indicated show would take the fight to CAS, Tucker said that from the outset the IAAF's study and evidence for their new policy are not good enough.

“There are some question marks around that study that the IAAF did around the statistics used and the method that they used. My own feeling is that it's quite a weak study. Basically, they're comparing high testosterone and low testosterone when we know that there are actually very small differences between those groups because women's testosterone ranges are quite constrained with the exception of extreme outliers. So, I think the whole premise of the study was actually flawed to begin with.”

In the case where that will challenge gender, science and identity politics, Tucker is not sure a satisfactory answer can be found.

“I would be very surprised if this new policy stands up to a legal challenge because I think if anything, it's a little bit weaker than the one [Dutee Chand] that went before. Quite frankly, the science is not capable of providing an answer to this question in an ethical reasoned way and I think they probably have to abandon the premise.”

A verdict is expected next month and will be decided by three judges.

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