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Caster Semenya sets the record straight on funding in IAAF case

Semenya is fighting the IAAF proposed regulation that she lower her testosterone levels in order to compete internationally.

South African 800 metres Olympic champion Caster Semenya (C) and her lawyer Gregory Nott (R) arrive for a landmark hearing at the Court of Arbitration (CAS) in Lausanne on 18 February 2019. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - South African middle-distance star Caster Semenya has denied that government is footing her legal bills in her ongoing hearing against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in Switzerland.

Semenya is fighting the IAAF proposed regulation that she lower her testosterone levels in order to compete internationally.

Messages of support pour in for Caster Semenya

The athlete has set the record straight regarding her funding.

In a statement released on Thursday, Semenya denied the South African government paid R25 million towards her ongoing hearing against the IAAF in Switzerland.

Semenya’s lawyers Norton Rose Fulbright have teamed up with two Canadian lawyers in her landmark hearing.

Semenya is challenging the proposed regulations by the IAAF at the Court of Arbitration for Sport that seeks to restrict the levels of testosterone in female athletes by forcing them to take suppressants.

In a press statement, the double-Olympic 800m gold medal winner said: “Whilst I have no knowledge of what was paid by the government to its legal and medical team in respect of its own case, my personal representation has been funded mainly by private funders and the portion funded by the government is a small fraction of the amount that has been quoted in the article.”

She also distanced herself from an online petition attached to supporting her.

“It has also come to my attention that there is a petition that has been started by an organisation in support of me (Caster Semenya) which requests as part of a sign-up a donation of money. I have no knowledge of and have no affiliation to this petition and it has not been sanctioned by me. I will not be receiving any of these funds and donors are advised accordingly. I am grateful for all the local and global support that I have received.”

The hearing began on Monday and is scheduled to wrap up on Friday, with a final ruling expected around before the end of March where three judges will deliberate the decision, which has major global implications.