Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
18 Feb 2019
7:04 pm

Athletics SA hits out at IAAF

Wesley Botton

The local federation claims that the world body has consistently violated 'confidentiality undertakings' as Caster Semenya's gender rules hearing commences.

Caster Semenya has argued that she is "unquestionably a woman". AFP/File/Fabrice COFFRINI

Athletics South Africa (ASA) lashed out at its mother body on Monday, accusing the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) of employing underhanded tactics on the opening day of a hearing into controversial gender rules at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“ASA notes with great dismay and disappointment that despite the parties having been bound to confidentiality undertakings and ASA consistently adhering to them, the IAAF has during the course of proceedings this morning released the names and backgrounds of their expert witnesses and provided a brief expose of their views of the topics to be covered by them in the current proceedings at the CAS,” the national federation said in a statement.

“This is in clear violation of the confidentiality undertaking made to CAS and in ASA’s view [this] amounts to underhand tactics to try and win support for their views in the court of public opinion.”

Earlier on Monday, the IAAF had released a list of experts who would provide evidence in support of their case this week.

They included Angelica Linden Hirschberg, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology; David Handelsman, a professor of reproductive endocrinology and andrology; Joanna Harper, a medical physicist; Doriane Lambelet Coleman, a professor of law; and Richard Auchus, a former professor of pharmacology and internal medicine.

Legal teams representing ASA and middle-distance runner Caster Semenya had raised objections to the IAAF releasing details of its experts, and the CAS panel ruled that all parties be allowed to issue similar statements.

“ASA will, in due course, be making a more comprehensive disclosure of its experts’ views on the issues at hand,” ASA said.

Semenya and ASA were challenging the IAAF’s new rules which restricted hyperandrogenic athletes from competing against women at international level in certain events.

The CAS had set aside five days to hear evidence, and the court’s decision was expected to be announced by the end of March.

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