SOUTH AFRICANS are hopping mad following the decision by International Association of Athletics Federations, new eligibility regulation for female athletes with Differences of Sexual Development (DSD) for events from 400m to a mile, that targets Caster Semenya.
Many believe the move is to hamper SA’s double Olympic 800 meters winner’s efforts.
The decision by IAAF means Semenya will be forced to take daily testosterone-lowering medication to be able to continue competing in 400m and 1500m events, respectively.
“We want athletes to be incentivised to make the huge commitment and sacrifice required to excel in the sport‚ and to inspire new generations to join the sport and aspire to the same excellence‚” said IAAF president Sebastian Coe in a statement.
“As the international federation for our sport‚ we have a responsibility to ensure a level playing field for athletes.
“Like many other sports‚ we choose to have two classifications for our competition – men’s events and women’s events.
On Metro FM listeners voiced their concerns and said this was to derail her and demotivate Caster.
“If that’s the length they went to suppress her, she will come out with guns blazing. Nothing will deter our black African child,” said one listener angrily.
An unidentified medical doctor also cried foul and asked why is Caster being targeted?
“The revised rules are not about cheating‚ no athlete with a DSD has cheated‚ they are about leveling the playing field to ensure fair and meaningful competition in the sport of athletics where success is determined by talent‚ dedication and hard work rather than other contributing factors,” said Coe.
The new regulations‚ which were approved by the IAAF Council in March‚ will come into effect from 1 November 2018 and they replace the previous regulations governing eligibility of females with Hyperandrogenism to compete in women’s competition.
A very disturbed Aleck Skhosana, ASA president said they will issue a statement soon.
Caster was not readily available for comment at the time of publishing.