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IAAF refuses to soften stance against Semenya

IAAF refuses to soften stance against Semenya

South Africa

<p>The International Association of Athletics Federations (<span class="caps">IAAF</span>) will not soften its stance on new regulations for female classification and is ready to defend it in the Court of Arbitration for Sport(<span class="caps">CAS</span>), president Sebastian Coe has said.</p> <p>Coe’s comments follow Tuesday’s meeting in London with Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skhosana in which the concerns of <span class="caps">ASA</span> over the new ruling were discussed.</p> <p><span class="caps">ASA</span> and South African double Olympic and triple world 800 metres champion Caster Semenya have both separately <a href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/06/18/south-africa-s-caster-semenya-to-challenge-iaaf-female-eligibility-rule/"target="_blank">appealed</a> to <span class="caps">CAS</span> to have the new regulations that limit the levels of naturally-occurring testosterone in female athletes set aside.</p> <h3>South Africa’s case</h3> <p>Coe and Skhosana met to clarify their positions and with neither side willing to budge they have declared that <span class="caps">CAS</span> is the best body to rule on the dispute.</p> <p>“We will support our athletes on the grounds that the regulations discriminate against certain female athletes on the basis of natural physical characteristics and/or sex,” Skhosana said in a media release from the <span class="caps">IAAF</span> on Wednesday.</p> <p>He added that <span class="caps">ASA</span> and Semenya have the support of the South African government and the country’s Olympic Committee.</p> <h3><span class="caps">IAAF</span>’s defence</h3> <p>But Coe says there will be no easing of the regulations, set to be introduced on Nov. 1, as the <span class="caps">IAAF</span> believe they are the fairest solution to a tricky challenge facing the sport.</p> <p>“We need to create competition categories within our sport that ensures that success is determined by talent, dedication and hard work, rather than by other factors that are not considered fair or meaningful, such as the enormous physical advantages that an adult has over a child, or a male athlete has over a female athlete,” Coe said.</p> <p>“We therefore need to come up with a fair solution for intersex/DSD (differences of sexual development) athletes wishing to compete in the female category, which is what the new regulations set out to do, based on the evidence the <span class="caps">IAAF</span> has gathered about the degree of performance benefit that such intersex/DSD athletes get from their higher levels of circulating testosterone.”</p> <p>The <span class="caps">IAAF</span> said its decision was based on peer-reviewed studies and observation by scientists which showed that females with above-normal or male equivalent levels of testosterone had up to a 12 percent performance advantage over fellow female athletes.</p> <p>Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin, which affects endurance.</p> <h3><a href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/04/26/i-have-no-time-for-nonsense-s-africa-s-semenya-responds-to-new-iaaf-regulations/"target="_blank">‘I have no time for nonsense’: S. Africa’s Semenya responds to new <span class="caps">IAAF</span> regulations</a></h3>

We need to create competition categories within our sport that ensures that success is determined by talent, dedication and hard work, rather than by other factors that are not considered fair or meaningful.

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