The South African Athletics Federation will appeal against Caster Semenya’s decision, the country’s sports ministry announced on Monday.
The government department says two of the three judges who heard the case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport were ‘conflicted’, the facts were ignored and the athletics governing body was given ‘unlimited latitude’ “to do whatever he wants.
Athletics South Africa, the governing body for athletics in the country, was one of two parties alongside Semenya to take the International Association of Athletics Federations to court challenging its testosterone regulations in women’s competitions.
At a Diamond League track meet in Qatar two days after losing the case, Semenya said she would not be taking medication and would follow the rules.
WATCH | Caster Semenya captures the women’s 800 meters:
Athletics South Africa declined to comment on any appeals on Monday and Semenya’s lawyers also did not confirm any appeals.
Parties may appeal a CAS decision on a very limited number of grounds. These include, in particular, incompetence, a violation of the rules of procedure or a decision incompatible with public order.
An appeal would be heard by the Swiss Federal Tribunal. ASA or Semenya must appeal by May 31 — within 30 days of the CAS decision.
They could also seek an interim court order to suspend testosterone regulations until a full appeal is heard. This could allow Semenya to defend his 800m title at the world championships in Doha, Qatar in September without having to have his testosterone levels medically lowered, which the IAAF says gives him an unfair advantage over others. women.
Case lost by majority decision 2-1
In its statement, the South African Department of Sport set out ASA’s grounds for appeal.
He said two of the three judges who heard Semenya’s case were “in conflict” because they had sat on a CAS case involving previous IAAF testosterone regulations brought by Indian sprinter Dutee Chand in 2015.
The Department of Sports also said the scientific and medical evidence presented by Semenya’s lawyers was strong, but “the facts in court and the outcome do not match”.
IAAF data criticized as flawed
The ministry said the CAS decision did not fully address how the IAAF would implement the controversial hormone limits, which have been described as ethically questionable by the World Medical Association.
“Relevant legal issues which the tribunal should have addressed have not been addressed,” the South African Department of Sport said. “The court has simply given the IAAF unlimited leeway to do whatever it wants.”
ASA and Semenya could have a case if CAS judges ignore strong scientific evidence disputing the benefit the South African runner derives from her high natural testosterone. The IAAF data has been criticized as flawed by some scientists.
The Swiss Federal Court could also examine whether Semenya’s human rights have been violated. CAS agreed that the testosterone rules discriminated against Semenya, but ruled the discrimination was necessary to ensure the overall fairness of women’s competition.
In addition to the legal appeal, South Africa’s Department of Sports said it would approach the UN General Assembly “to sanction the IAAF for violating international human rights instruments”.