If the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) does not scratch its controversial rule restricting athletes with hyperandrogenism, Athletics South Africa (ASA) has warned it will take the matter back to court.
Standing up to its mother body on Thursday, a week after the rule was announced, the national federation said it had studied the regulations and had consulted with government, as well as the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and “expert institutions”.
“We have now taken a decision that we will challenge the IAAF on these new regulations as we have found them to be skewed,” ASA said in a statement.
“As a member federation, we will engage the IAAF as our mother body and if they do not change their minds on this new rule after this engagement, we will proceed to CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) for further assistance on the matter.”
Earlier this week, Professor Steve Cornelius of the law faculty at the University of Pretoria had also spoken out against the new regulations, resigning as a member of the IAAF disciplinary tribunal on legal and moral grounds.
The IAAF’s announcement last week, which sparked a contentious worldwide debate, was allegedly aimed at sidelining versatile South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya.
The new regulations, which would come into effect in November, would apply only to athletes competing over distances between 400m and the mile (1.609km) and would force women with hyperandrogenism to reduce their natural testosterone levels in order to compete internationally.