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Athletics Semenya takes World Athletics to rights court over testosterone rules

Athlete, identified as female at birth but branded 'biologically male' by World Athletics, says regulations are a rights violation

CASTER SEMENYA is going to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge “discriminatory” rules that prohibit her from competing in some track events because of her high natural testosterone, her lawyers said yesterday.

The two-time 800-metre Olympic champion has already lost two legal appeals against World Athletics (WA) regulations that force her to medically lower her natural testosterone level if she wants to run in women’s races between 400 meters and one mile.

The South African’s lawyers said there had been a “violation of her rights” and wants the human rights court to examine the rules.

Although Semenya was legally identified as female at birth and has identified as female her whole life, WA has controversially referred to her as “biologically male” in previous legal proceedings.

Under WA’s rules, athletes like Semenya must either take daily contraceptive pills, use hormone-blocking injections, or have surgery. Her lawyers branded the associated physical examinations “humiliating and invasive” and medical procedures “harmful and experimental.”

“I hope the European court will put an end to the longstanding human rights violations by World Athletics against women athletes,” Semenya said in a statement. “All we ask is to be allowed to run free, for once and for all.”

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