Lausanne: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has set a deadline of March 26 for a verdict in the appeal hearing of Caster Semenya against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that concluded, Friday.
CAS has called the hearing ‘one of the most pivotal CAS cases’ that could have a wide reaching consequence not just for the future of athletics, but sport in general.
“The Panel has had the opportunity to hear from all parties, experts and witnesses, with the IAAF president, Lord Sebastian Coe, speaking at the outset of the hearing, and Ms Semenya having the last word,” CAS said in a statement released Saturday. “The hearing was conducted in a cordial and respectful atmosphere throughout the entire week,” it added.
South African 800-metre double Olympic champion Semenya is seeking to overturn a new set of IAAF regulations that are aimed at lowering the testosterone levels of hyperandrogenic athletes.
The IAAF contend that Semenya and other female athletes that are classed as having differences in sexual development (DSDs) gain an unfair advantage due to their higher testosterone levels, but only in races between 400 and 1000-metres.
Semenya brought experts to the hearing to contest this view and provide evidence on the potential negative physical and mental effects of forcing athletes to lower naturally occurring testosterone levels through medication.
The IAAF’s previous attempts to regulate testosterone in female athletes fell foul of a CAS ruling in 2015 following an appeal on behalf of Dutee Chand, who had been banned from competing because of her high levels.
CAS claimed in their judgement at the time that the IAAF had not provided sufficient evidence that hyperandrogenic athletes gained a significant advantage, which the global body now say they have provided to the court.