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IAAF appeals to withdraw order allowing Semenya to run

The athletics governing body claim that they support the rights of people to choose their sexual identity, but say this does not apply to athletics.

South African Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya competes at the ASA Senior Championships at Germiston Athletics stadium, in Germiston on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa on 26 April 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has submitted a response to the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) requesting that they withdraw their “superprovisional order” that suspends the new legislation relating to athletes with differences in sexual development (DSD).

The SFT issued an order on 4 June that forced the governing body to set their new DSD regulations aside until Caster Semenya’s appeal has been concluded.

According to a press release, the IAAF were specifically requesting:

  1. Reversal of the order to the IAAF to super-provisionally suspend the implementation of the DSD Regulations in respect of the appellant.

  2. Dismissal of the appellant's application to suspend the implementation of the DSD Regulations in respect of the appellant pending the outcome of the appeal.

The athletics governing body claim that they support the rights of people to choose their sexual identity, but say this does not apply to athletics.

They have repeatedly stated that they will uphold the rights of female athletes, and argue that there must be a protected category of events for women based on biology and not sexual identity.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed Semenya’s appeal against the new regulations earlier on this year, with this latest press release indicating that the IAAF clearly have no intention of discarding the DSD rules.

The Federal Court is expected to respond to the appeal in the next few days.