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South African Athlete Takes Her Fight to Compete to the Human Rights Court in Europe

Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against the restriction of testosterone levels in female runners. Semenya is not allowed to compete in events between 400m and a mile without taking testosterone-reducing drugs, following a 2019 rule change by governing body World Athletics. The 30-year-old South African lost an appeal to Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court in September but still harbours hopes of defending her Olympic title in Tokyo this year. A statement from Semenya’s lawyers Norton Rose Fulbright on Thursday said: “Whilst the timeline of the application remains to be determined by the court, Caster remains ever hopeful that she will soon be allowed to return to the starting line in the 800m at international competitions.” Athletes with DSD have higher levels of natural testosterone, which World Athletics believes gives them a competitive advantage. The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected a Semenya challenge against the rule in 2019. The Swiss Supreme Court then temporarily suspended the ruling, before later reversing its decision.