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Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The IAAF Says Athletes Like Caster Semenya Are Welcome To Compete in Men's Events

The institution has also determined which women's events the South African athlete is allowed to enter if she chooses not to alter her testosterone levels.

Caster Semenya and athletes like herself cannot seem to catch a break with the International Association of Athletic Federations' (IAAF) policies regarding intersex athletes.

Responding to a letter from the World Medical Association (WMA), Sport 24 reports, the IAAF says athletes like Semenya are allowed to enter men's events if they are not willing to take medicine to lower their testosterone levels.

The letter from the WMA insisted that doctors should not enforce the new and controversial IAAF gender rules for classifying female athletes, citing that attempts "would breach ethical codes."


The medial body notes that their basis of conclusion was due to the "weak evidence" found in the IAAF's research. "We have strong reservations about the ethical validity of these regulations," Dr. Leonid Eidelman, WMA president, says. "They are based on weak evidence from a single study, which is currently being widely debated by the scientific community..."

In their official statement that you can read in full here, the IAAF rebuttals noting that their research was based on gathering evidence for 15 years.

"The IAAF Regulations in this matter are not based on a single study, but on many scientific publications and observations from the field during the last 15 years," the statement says. "All these materials were submitted to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and discussed during the hearing. The Panel has accepted the validity of this evidence and has recently decided to uphold the IAAF Regulations."

The IAAF continues:

"We respectfully remind the WMA that while doctors should try not to over-medicalize the lives of these patients, it is important to recognize that for an adolescent raised as female and experiencing a masculinizing puberty, according to international guidelines for DSD, an extensive investigation should be carried out by a cross-professional team to reach a diagnosis, and to clarify the individual's gender identity."

The IAAF says that female athletes who are not planning on taking medicine to lower their testosterone levels to compete in the 400m hurdles, 800m, 1500 m and the mile are allowed to compete with male athletes and in any intersex competition without restriction. Otherwise, they cannot enter in the female classification of any restricted event at an international competition.

In Semenya's case, the IAAF says she is permitted to compete in female-classified events that are not between the 400m and the mile on an international level. If she seeks those events, they cannot be at an international competition.

Supporters of Semenya seem flabbergasted at this response and continue to show support of the athlete on social media:






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Listen to 10 Great Songs From Johnny Clegg

Here are some of the best songs to remember South Africa's son of the soil.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that South African musician, Johnny Clegg, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Understandably, heartfelt tributes have been pouring in ever since. Long before it was cool (or even legal) to be in close proximity to blackness and anything attached to it in South Africa, Clegg, a white man, was doing just that. That is exactly why he was given the endearing title of South Africa's "son of the soil."

Growing up during Apartheid, Clegg was taught how to speak the Zulu language by a domestic worker named Charlie Mzila. In his teenage years, his appreciation for the Zulu culture continued and he soon learnt the traditional dance styles known as isishameni and also learnt how to play the Maskandi guitar. Clegg's music was a beacon of light during a very dark time in South Africa's history and his songs about Nelson Mandela (at a time where songs were banned for merely mentioning the name of the late statesman and other key struggle activists) brought the country together.

It is irrefutable that a music giant has fallen. However, Clegg leaves behind a wealth of music featuring other great South African artists and groups such as Zakwe, Brenda Fassie, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Juluka/Suvuka, among several others. His music undeniably brought South Africans and people all around the world together.

We've picked ten of our favorite songs from the late musician's discography in honor of a life that was lived to the fullest.

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Stonebwoy in "Tuff Seed"

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Stonebwoy, Mahmoud Ahmed, Tiwa Savage x Zlatan, Africa Express, Juls x Mr Eazi and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Beyoncé Wore These 2 African Designers in Her Music Video for 'Spirit'

Queen Bey continues to include and give a nod to African talent in her visuals.

As we draw even closer to Disney's The Lion King opening in theaters this week, Beyoncé continues to lead the way with her new music video for "Spirit"—the first single off of the film's album she produced and curated, The Lion King: The Gift.

Shot in the Havasu Falls in Arizona's Grand Canyon, Beyoncé and her legion of beautiful dancers are one with nature and its various elements as she beckons us to be brave and hear the calling of spirit. As we noted when she announced the album, the track opens with a call and response in Swahili that translates to "Long live the king": Uishi kwa mda mrefu mfalme—uishi kwa.

Keeping our eyes peeled for African influences in the music video, it's evident that is seen in the choreography. We even spotted our extended fam with the afrobeats moves—the AVO Boys: Stephen Ojo and Caleb Bonney—as two of her dancers in the video.

Beyoncé continues to also give a nod to African talent through the looks she donned in "Spirit" styled by her mainstay, Zerina Akers.

Take a look at the two African designers she wore in the video below.

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