Home / Africa / Caster Semenya says IAAF used her as a human guinea pig and fears others at risk

Caster Semenya says IAAF used her as a human guinea pig and fears others at risk

Semenya has won the Olympic 800m title twice and the world title three times

Semenya has won the Olympic 800m title twice and the world title three times

Caster Semenya says athletics’ world governing body “used” her like “a human guinea pig” by insisting she takes medication to control her testosterone.

South Africa’s Semenya, 28, is in legal dispute with the IAAF, who have said the 800m runner must take medication or compete over a different distance.

The two-time Olympic champion says the drugs made her feel “constantly sick” and have “unknown health consequences”.

“I will not allow the IAAF to use me and my body again,” said Semenya.

Semenya spoke out as the Court of Arbitration for Sport released a 163-page document explaining why it had rejected her appeal against the IAAF’s rules.

Since the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision she has gone to Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court (SFT), which has temporarily suspended the IAAF ruling.

“The IAAF used me in the past as a human guinea pig to experiment with how the medication they required me to take would affect my testosterone levels,” added Semenya.

“Even though the hormonal drugs made me feel constantly sick, the IAAF now wants to enforce even stricter thresholds with unknown health consequences.

“I am concerned that other female athletes will feel compelled to let the IAAF drug them and test the effectiveness and negative health effects of different hormonal drugs. This cannot be allowed to happen.”

IAAF rules state Semenya – and other athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) – must either take medication in order to compete in track events from 400m to the mile, or change to another distance.

Since the ruling, Semenya has raced over 2,000m and took victory at the Meeting de Montreuil in Paris.

She has been named in South Africa’s preliminary squad for the World Championships in Qatar later this year but has only been entered in the 800m, meaning her participation depends on the outcome of her appeal.

The IAAF has said it is acting in the “best interests of all female athletes in our sport”.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has said the new rules for athletes with differences of sexual development were discriminatory, but concluded that the discrimination was “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to protect “the integrity of female athletics”.

Caster Semenya says IAAF used her as a human guinea pig and fears others at risk

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