Discrimination must be fought, says ANC election head Fikile Mbalula after Caster Semenya lost her case to stop the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from forcing her and other athletes to lower their testosterone levels through medication.
Speaking on the sidelines of an ANC media briefing on the readiness of the ANC in the coming elections, Mbalula pointed out that Semenya was expected to be subjected to testosterone-modifying injections.
“It affects my emotions terribly, that a human being can be subjected to such. And this is what they have concluded now. They do it with Caster. There have been people with high testosterone before, including the current record holder of the distance Caster is running.
“A rule has been made in the world for Caster Semenya.
“We the people of South Africa condemn [the decision], we must march on, till the last moment with Caster, and we cannot let it go just like that.
“We must invest state money and fight discrimination. The United Nations and the people of the world agree with us. We do it for Caster, we do it for many other generations to come. Not in our name will this be done unchallenged.”
Semenya will compete in what could be her last-ever international 800m race when she lines up at the Diamond League season opener in Doha on Friday night.
Meanwhile, it was reported on Wednesday that Semenya said she would consider taking the fight with IAAF back to court.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed on Wednesday it had dismissed requests for arbitration filed by Semenya and Athletics South Africa (ASA) in their attempt to have controversial new IAAF regulations overturned.
“Ms Semenya is reviewing the decision with her legal team and considering whether to file an appeal,” Semenya’s lawyers said in a statement.
The new rules would force athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) to take medication in order to reduce their natural testosterone levels to 5nmol/L in order to compete internationally over distances ranging from 400m to the mile (1.609km).
(Additional reporting by Daniel Friedman)