Caster Semenya has Penned a Powerful Story About her Athletic Career
In 'I Wanted to be a Soldier', the two-time Olympic gold medalist finally speaks out about the injustices she's faced.
South African athlete Caster Semenya has said very little about her battle with the IAAF and the testosterone regulations they've imposed on her. Aside from the statements issued by her lawyers as they appealed the decision made by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) at the Swiss Federal Court, Semenya has remained relatively silent on the matter and provided very little comment in her personal capacity. That is until now. She recently penned a story entitled I Wanted to be a Soldier for The Players' Tribune where she talks about her love for athletics as a child and the challenges and humiliation she's had to face over the years.
"They saw me as science. They wanted to test my body," says Semenya as she recalls the numerous tests she's been put through in the past as part of the quest to "prove" she is a woman. After she successfully appealed the decision made by Cas to enforce the IAAF's new testosterone regulations, it seemed hopeful that Semenya might actually win the landmark case at the Swiss Federal Court. While the Cas ruling was initially set aside, the Swiss Federal Court ultimately reversed its judgement. The athlete has understandably refused to take the testosterone-lowering drugs citing that she shouldn't be forced to suppress what is a natural advantage and that she doesn't know what long-term effects they could have on her.
An excerpt of the story reads as follows:
"There have been rules in place that allowed me to run until now. Now the president of the IAAF wants to change those rules. It is bull. I know they — those in power — have daughters. I know some of them have wives. They have children. At the end of the day, they go home and do not do this to their kids. They believe their children or wife when they say who they are. But they want to change my body? To put me through shameful tests when I tell them who I am? I am someone's child. I am someone's daughter. I am also someone's wife. You would not do that to them. But you do it to me."
Semenya recently took up professional soccer after she signed with the Gauteng-based JVW Football Club. While soccer has always been another of her sporting passions, Semenya has made it clear that the move to playing it professionally is in no way indicative of her giving up on her athletics career altogether.