The Commission for Gender Equality has expressed its dismay that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has decided to amend its regulations once again in November 2018.

The new regulations would require female athletes to maintain testosterone levels below 5 nanomoles per litre for a continuous period of at least six months.

This has led to athletes, like Semenya, who are known to produce high levels of testosterone, being placed squarely in the spotlight. 

The commission believes the new regulations are discriminatory against athletes falling into this category.

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The body has also called upon UN Women, the Department of Sports and Recreation, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) to offer their support to Semenya as the Commission believes the IAAF new regulations are discriminatory.

The statement went on to state that “It cannot be that female athletes that produce 5% of nanomoles are subjected to this unjust and unfair regulations contrary to many conventions and protocols that are there to protect and promote unfair treatment of female athletes/women from abuse and discrimination.”

The Commission reiterated its support for the legal challenge launched by Semenya with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland on Monday against the new regulation in order to ensure that the rights of all women are safeguarded and protected.

“We are also making a clarion call to like-minded institutions to unequivocally raise their voices in support of Semenya.”

The commission agrees with Semenya’ submission to CAS that the IAAF must set aside the new regulations even before they are implemented pending the finalisation of her legal challenge. — Sport 24