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Caster Semenya Loses Landmark Case Against the IAAF Over Controversial Testosterone Rules

"The decision of Cas will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world," says the athlete.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) has rejected South African Olympic gold medalist, Caster Semenya's, challenge agains the IAAF's implementation of a new eligibility requirement that would force female athletes with naturally higher testosterone levels to either take medication in order to compete or to compete in other races , BBC Sport reports.

Last June, Semenya took legal action against the board, calling the rule discriminatory and unfair. "I just want to run naturally, the way I was born," said the 28-year-old athlete at the time.


The South African government launched the #NaturallySuperior movement in February to support the athlete and her right to compete as she is. The Minister of Sport, Toko Xasa, described the requirements as being a "gross violation of internationally accepted standards of human rights."

Despite the rule's apparent bias, Cas has ruled in favor of the IAAF.

In a statement on Wednesday, Cas claimed it had "serious concerns as to the future practical application of the rule." It admitted that the rule is, in fact, discriminatory, but claimed the discrimination was "necessary, reasonable and proportionate" to protect "the integrity of female athletics."

In response to the ruling, Semenya criticized the IAAF for consistently targeting her, but noted that she has no intention of letting the ruling stop her. "For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger," said the athlete. "The decision of Cas will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world."

Earlier today, the athlete tweeted a graphic, which read "sometimes it's better to react with no reaction."

Many online have expressed anger about the ruling, with several calling out the IAAF for its treatment of Semenya throughout the years. Several are pointing out the unjust racial and gender dynamics that have surrounded the federation's decision.












Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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Screenshot from the upcoming film Warriors of a Beautiful Game

In Conversation: Pelé's Daughter is Making a Documentary About Women's Soccer Around the World

In this exclusive interview, Kely Nascimento-DeLuca shares the story behind filming Warriors of a Beautiful Game in Tanzania, Brazil and other countries.

It may surprise you to know that women's soccer was illegal in Brazil until 1981. And in the UK until 1971. And in Germany until 1970. You may have read that Sudan made its first-ever women's league earlier this year. Whatever the case, women and soccer have always had a rocky relationship.

It wasn't what women wanted. It certainly wasn't what they needed. However, society had its own ideas and placed obstacle after obstacle in front of women to keep ladies from playing the game. Just this year the US national team has shown the world that women can be international champions in the sport and not get paid fairly compared to their male counterparts who lose.

Kely Nascimento-DeLuca is looking to change that. As the daughter of international soccer legend Pelé, she is no stranger to the game. Growing up surrounded by the sport, she was actually unaware of the experiences women around the world were having with it. It was only recently that she discovered the hardships around women in soccer and how much it mirrored women's rights more generally.

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Convener of "#Revolution Now" Omoyele Sowore speaks during his arraignment for charges against the government at the Federal High Court in Abuja, on September 30, 2019. (Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Images)

Nigerian Activist, Omoyele Sowore, Re-Arrested Just Hours After Being Released on Bail

Sowore, the organizer of Nigeria's #RevolutionNow protests, was detained by armed officers, once again, in court on Friday.

Omoyele Sowore, the Nigerian human rights activist and former presidential candidate who has spent over four months in jail under dubious charges, was re-arrested today in Lagos while appearing in court.

The journalist and founder of New York-based publication Sahara Reporters, had been released on bail the day before. He was arrested following his organization of nationwide #RevolutionNow protests in August. Since then, Sowore has remained in custody on what are said to be trumped-up charges, including treason, money laundering and stalking the president.

He appeared in court once again on Friday after being released on bail in federal court the previous day. During his appearance, Sowore was again taken into custody by Nigerian authorities.

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