The IAAF used me as a laboratory rat: Semenya

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Caster Semenya on Tuesday accused the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) of having used it “like a laboratory rat” in the past. The South African is challenging the new hyperandrogen athletes regulation.

The two-time 800m Olympic champion accuses the IAAF of having experimented with her on hormone therapy to reduce her testosterone levels. The new rules of the federation now require hyperandrogenic athletes to compete internationally at 400m per mile. The IAAF believes that high testosterone levels offer these athletes an unfair advantage in the female category.

In the statement, Caster Semenya welcomes the release by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) of the details of its May 1 ruling, which however denied her appeal against the new IAAF rules. The full decision was issued following the agreement of Semenya, the South African Athletics Federation and the IAAF, the three parts of the case, said the CAS.

“The IAAF has been using me as a lab rat in the past to experiment with how the treatment they wanted me to take would lower my testosterone level,” says Semenya quoted in the release. The South African refers to the months following her first world title of 2009: subjected to tests of femininity and prohibited from competition during eleven months, she indicates to have followed this treatment on request of the IAAF.

“Although this hormone treatment has made me feel sick constantly, the IAAF now wants to impose it to an even higher degree without knowing the possible side effects,” says Semenya. “I will not allow the IAAF to use me and my body again.” Disbursed by the CAS on 1 May, Caster Semenya has since appealed to the Swiss Federal Court, which has suspended the application of the regulation for Caster Semenya only “super-provisional”.

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