Lausanne: Caster Semenya lost her appeal on Wednesday against rules designed to decrease naturally high testosterone levels in some female runners.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s panel of three judges gave a complex verdict and “dismissed both requests for arbitration” from Semenya and the governing body of track and field.
In a landmark judgement, the court said the IAAF’s proposed rules on athletes with “differences of sex development (DSD)” are discriminatory, but should be applied.
The judges ruled 2-1 that “on the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events”.
Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion in 800 metres, will now be forced to medicate to suppress her testosterone levels if she wants to defend her world title in September in Doha, Qatar.
Still, the CAS panel “strongly encouraged” the IAAF to note its concerns when it applies the rules — which the judges believe might have to be modified in future to be fair.
“Indeed, it may be that, on implementation and with experience, certain factors may be shown to affect the overall proportionality of the DSD Regulations,” the court said.