Caster Semenya wins human rights court appeal over testosterone rules

Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya is this morning celebrating a victory off the track, after she won a human rights court appeal over the rules governing testosterone in female athletes in competitions.

The European court of human rights ruled the South African two times Olympic 800 meters gold medallist had been discriminated against.

The 32 year old Semenya, has a medical condition known as hyper-andro-genism, which is characterized by higher than usual levels of testosterone, a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and hemoglobin, which affects endurance.

Under the rules, in order to compete in women’s events, female athletes with high testosterone levels must lower them to those of “a healthy woman with ovaries”.

The decision could now force sport’s highest court, the (court of arbitration for sports -CAS)to re-examine the regulations that force Semenya and other female athletes to artificially reduce naturally high testosterone levels in order to compete at top competitions such as the Olympics and the World Championships.

The court also ruled that Semenya¬† was not allowed an “effective remedy” when the court of arbitration for Sport and Switzerland’s supreme court denied her two previous appeals against the rules.


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