Today Marks What Could be Caster Semenya's Last Race
The South African athlete will be competing in the 800m category at the Doha Diamond League.
After the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) ruled in favor of the IAAF, which wants Caster Semenya to lower her naturally high testosterone levels in order to continue competing, the athlete finds herself at a crossroads. She can concede and lower her testosterone, compete as she is in other long distance categories aside from the 400m, 800m and 1500m or walk away from athletics altogether.
A double Olympic gold medalist, Semenya is set to compete today in the Diamond League in Doha alongside Burundian Olympic silver medalist, Francine Niyonsaba, who will also have to take medication to lower her naturally high testosterone levels if she wishes to compete.
While it is likely that she will appeal the decision made by Cas and take it further to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, the process will of course take some time and the new IAAF regulations will officially take effect from the 8th May.
However, the World Medical Association (WMA) has ordered doctors not to issue testosterone-lowering drugs despite the ruling by Cas. They stressed that the new regulations were based on a single study with weak evidence and went against a number of the medical body's ethical statements.
According to Sport24, the president of the WMA, Leonid Eidelman, said:
"We have strong reservations about the ethical validity of these regulations. They are based on weak evidence from a single study, which is currently being widely debated by the scientific community. They are also contrary to a number of key WMA ethical statements and declarations, and as such we are calling for their immediate withdrawal."
For almost a decade, Semenya has faced constant humiliation for her wins and her intersex condition. She was even subjected to a sex test following her win at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin. The ruling by Cas has been rightly termed by many as a gross violation of Semenya's human rights.