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Semenya to miss Doha 2019 as court overrules suspension of regulations

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[FILES] South African Caster Semenya speaks with journalists after the women’s 2000m race during the France’s LNA (athletics national association) Pro Athle Tour meeting on June 11, 2019 at the Jean-Delbert stadium in Montreuil, a Paris neighbouring suburb. – The double 800m Olympic champion, who was racing for the first time since a controversial new gender ruling came into effect, finished in 5min 38.19sec ahead of Ethiopian pair Hawi Feysa and Adanech Anbesa. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

Caster Semenya will not defend her world 800m title in Doha in September after a Swiss judge overruled a temporary suspension on the IAAF’s controversial testosterone-curbing rules, her representatives said yesterday.

The AFP reports the ruling means the 28-year-old can no longer compete in events between the 400m and mile, as she did in June and July. The World Championships are scheduled between September 28 and October 6 in the Qatari capital.

“I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned,” said the South African who is also a two-time Olympic gold medallist.

Semenya’s representatives said in a statement that, on Monday, “a single judge of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court reversed prior rulings that had temporarily suspended the IAAF regulations pending the outcome of Caster’s appeal against the CAS award”.

“In this latest decision, the Supreme Court emphasised the strict requirements and high thresholds for the interim suspension of CAS awards and found that these were not fulfilled.”

Dorothee Schramm, the lawyer leading Semenya’s appeal, added that the judge had made a “procedural decision” that has no impact on the appeal itself.

“We will continue to pursue Caster’s appeal and fight for her fundamental human rights. A race is always decided at the finish line.”


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