IAAF President faults Semenya’s ‘superior’ development

“The reason we have gender classification is because if you didn’t then no woman would ever win another title or another medal” – Coe
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 17: Caster Semenya accepts an award onstage during The Women’s Sports Foundation’s 39th Annual Salute To Women In Sports And The Girls They Inspire Awards Gala on October 17, 2018 in New York City. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Women’s Sports Foundation/AFP

Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya has called out the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Sebastian Coe for his “wrong” views about the athlete.

The Olympic champion is awaiting a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne on whether she will be legally forced to lower her testosterone levels to compete.

Over the weekend Coe had told Australia’s Daily Telegraph that, “the reason we have gender classification is because if you didn’t then no woman would ever win another title or another medal or break another record in our sport”. 

On Tuesday, Semenya’s team penned a statement expressing disappointment in Coe as well as the newspaper.

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“The scars Ms Semenya has developed over the past decade run deep,” the statement read.

“Reading the comments of Mr. Coe this weekend opened those old wounds and the reference by the Daily Telegraph to ‘the muscle-packed Semenya’ is just the latest illustration of how the issues have been distorted by innuendo.”

“Mr. Coe is wrong to think Ms Semenya is a threat to women’s sport.” 

Semenya’s outcome to her landmark case on proposed rules to restrict female athletes’ testosterone levels is expected at the end of April.

The IAAF regulations were due to have been instituted in November 2018 but have been put on ice pending the outcome of last month’s hearings.

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Semenya won the 800 metre gold medal at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and also won her third world title in London two years ago.


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