Caster Semenya Is Taking Legal Action Against the IAAF's Discriminatory Testosterone Rule
"I am Mokgadi Caster Semenya. I am a woman and I am fast."
Back in April, the IAAF announced its plans to establish new eligibility requirements for "female classification," which means that female runners who naturally possess higher levels of testosterone will have to compete in other races or race against men.
The policy goes into effect on November 1, and applies to women who participate in the 400m to the mile, including hurdles, 400m, 800m and 1500m races.
The rule unfairly targets runners like the 27-year-old South African track star Caster Semenya and she plans to fight back.
"It is not fair. I just want to run naturally, the way I was born," said the two-time Olympic champion. "I am Mokgadi Caster Semenya. I am a woman and I am fast."
She will fight the ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas), reports BBC Sport. Her case is set to take place today in Lausanne.
"Ms. Semenya, like all athletes, is entitled to compete the way she was born without being obliged to alter her body by any medical means," said the athlete's lawyers. Semenya says that the ruling further stigmatizes women who do not conform to contrived notions of femininity, and may cause some to take unsafe measure to alter their bodies as a result.
This is not the first time Semenya has been targeted on account of gender classification. She has been asked by athletics officials in the past to take tests in order to identify her gender.
"I am very upset that I have been pushed into the public spotlight again," Semenya said in her first extensive remarks about the rule since it was announced in April.
"I don't like talking about this new rule," she was quoted as saying in The New York Times. "I just want to run naturally, the way I was born. It is not fair that I am told I must change. It is not fair that people question who I am."