Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
19 Jan 2018
4:28 pm

Beleaguered Caster given some respite on looming CAS ruling

Wesley Botton

The ruling on whether South Africa's queen of the track and world champion's hyperandrogenism is a problem gets delayed.

However she may be affected by potential international rule changes, world 800m champion Caster Semenya won’t have to worry about it for another six months after legal processes were delayed on Friday.

In July 2015, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) suspended the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rule which regulated athletes with hyperandrogenism, and the governing body was given two years to prove that performance levels were unfairly elevated by natural testosterone.

The IAAF filed a report last year with draft revised regulations for track athletes competing over distances between 400m and one mile (1.609km).

In response, Indian athlete Dutee Chand argued the governing body had not complied with CAS as it did not submit evidence supporting its current regulations.

Placing the ball back in the IAAF’s court, CAS said it would accept revised regulations but confirmed it had not made a decision on the existing rule.

“This proceeding is suspended for a period of six months, during which the IAAF hyperandrogenism regulations remain suspended,” CAS confirmed in a statement.

“During this period the IAAF is to advise the CAS as to how it intends to implement its regulations moving forward.”

If the IAAF refused to withdraw its current regulations, proceedings would resume, but if the IAAF introduced its proposed draft regulations, the case would be closed.

While the controversial hyperandrogenism issue centred around Chand, who had urged CAS to assess the IAAF rule, Semenya had also become a key figure in the debate.

Though numerous international athletes were believed to have been born with the same condition, the South African’s world-class performances had forced her to the fore of the issue.

Having lost her best form after her natural testosterone was apparently suppressed, following her brief ‘suspension’ from the sport in 2010, Semenya rocketed back into shape after the IAAF rule was provisionally scratched two years ago.

Despite other issues seemingly affecting her performances between 2011 and 2014, including injuries and multiple changes in coaches, she had been used as an example by sports scientists who believed elevated levels of natural testosterone gave athletes with hyperandrogenism an unfair advantage.

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