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Experts question validity of CAS decision on Semenya

The ruling means Semenya will have to take medication to suppress her naturally high testosterone levels if she wants to compete internationally.

Caster Semenya competes to win the women's 800 metres during the IAAF Diamond League "Weltklasse" athletics meeting at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich on 30 August 2018. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – Questions are being raised on Thursday morning about what options Caster Semenya has after a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in favour of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)'s new testosterone regulations.

The ruling means Semenya will have to take medication to suppress her naturally high testosterone levels if she wants to compete internationally.

Sports medicine scientist Shuaib Manjra said that she can either quit, appeal the ruling or go for hormonal therapy, as he explained the implications of Semenya reducing her testosterone levels would have.

“If you reduce it to below 5, what’s the degree of disadvantage are you going to have? I mean Ross Tucker has done some modeling on this and he finds that if Caster Semenya is to reduce testosterone to below 5, she’ll probably be an also-ran in the 800 meters.”

Semenya said that she won’t back down from her fight against the IAAF.

Meanwhile, the Court of Arbitration for Sport's concerns about the IAAF's regulations regarding female athletes' testosterone levels should have been enough for it to halt their implementation.

The Sports Science Institute's chief executive is outraged.

The institute's Phatokuhle Zondi said: “The concern relates to maintaining the level of testosterone, they relate to lack of complete evidence regarding 1,500 meters and of course the side effects.

“But these are important enough issues as that’s how they frame it in their press release. For me, to say that we should have been paused and delayed when implementing this regulation, if at all [sic].”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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