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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.

READ: #JustDoItForCaster Shows How South Africa is Rallying Behind Caster Semenya

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.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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