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Inside the science of the CAS decision on Caster Semenya

A sports scientist and anthropologist weigh in on a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya's bid to overturn the IAAF's new testosterone regulations.

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 – Sport regulating bodies were not ready for super athletes like Castor Semenya, according to anthropologist Professor Hlonipha Mokoena.

Mokoena and sports scientist Dr Ross Tucker joined 702’s Eusebius McKaiser to unpack the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling on Caster Semenya.

The court rejected Semenya’s bid to challenge the International Association of Athletics Federations’ new testosterone rules, which would force her to lower her testosterone levels in order to compete with other women.

Mokoena reflected on the history of black women in the workplace and sport. She mentioned cases involving other sports stars, like the Williams sisters, who had to undergo doping tests.

“One of your callers also mentioned the history of women in slavery. During the slave trade there was no difference made between male and female slaves. Female slaves were expected to work as hard. With black women, you were not considered to be the softer or gentler sex. I think that category has still been forbidden for black women. Whenever a black woman becomes an athlete, there are always questions about her gender, even when she is 100% female, whatever that means.”

Listen to the audio for more.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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