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Olympic Champion Caster Semenya Is Taking Her Combat to Compete to the European Court docket of Human Rights

Olympic Champion Caster Semenya Is Taking Her Fight to Compete to the European Court of Human Rights


South African athlete Caster Semenya is bringing her authorized battle to take part in ladies’s sports activities to the European Court docket of Human Rights (ECHR), her newest bid to “put an finish to the longstanding human rights violations by World Athletics towards ladies athletes.” The lawsuit from the two-time Olympic champion challenges restrictions on testosterone ranges in feminine athletes that stops sure ladies from collaborating in worldwide sports activities competitions.

In a tweet Thursday morning, Semenya shared a press launch from her attorneys, Norton Rose Fulbright, which stated “Semenya’s ongoing battle for dignity, equality, and the human rights of ladies in sport took a vital step ahead with the submitting of an utility” to the ECHR.

The lawsuit asks that the Strasbourg courtroom discover that “Switzerland has failed in its optimistic obligations to guard her towards the violation of her rights.” In September 2020, Semenya misplaced her long-running authorized battle at Switzerland’s Supreme Court docket, stopping her from competing on the Tokyo Olympics except she agrees to medical interventions to decrease her testosterone. She had appealed towards a 2019 ruling by the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport primarily based in Switzerland that upheld 2018 guidelines from the worldwide athletics governing physique World Athletics that prohibit some feminine runners with naturally increased ranges of testosterone from collaborating in worldwide ladies’s sports activities competitions.

Learn Extra: Caster Semenya Gained’t Cease Preventing for Her Proper to Run, Simply as She Is

Such rules contain “intercourse testing” for girls’s participation in sport, which violates a number of internationally protected human rights together with rights to privateness, dignity well being and non-discrimination, based on a December 2020 report by Human Rights Watch. The report known as World Athletics’ sex-testing rules “inherently subjective and degrading,” and highlighted that the testosterone ranges used to rule out sure ladies from collaborating in sports activities fall “inside an arbitrary and largely unscientific vary.” HRW stated the regulation has been used to police the our bodies of ladies athletes with increased testosterone ranges, forcing medical interventions upon them to decrease ranges of the hormone so they may hold competing, and has additionally disproportionately affected ladies from the World South.

In a June 2020 report, which highlighted Semenya’s case, the U.N. known as for sporting our bodies to “evaluation, revise and revoke” eligibility guidelines and rules which have damaging results on athletes’ rights.

“I hope the European courtroom will put an finish to the longstanding human rights violations by World Athletics towards ladies athletes,” Semenya stated within the assertion launched Thursday. “All we ask is to be allowed to run free, for as soon as and for all, because the robust and fearless ladies we’re and all the time have been.”