Caster Semenya does not flinch after the middle distance ban

JOHANNESBURG: the double participation of South Africa 800 m Olympic champion Caster Semenya rejected critics on Wednesday against a ruling that has barred him from defending his world middle distance title in Doha in September.

The 28-year-old has been involved in a bitter legal battle with the International Association of Athletics Federations ( IAAF ) on the rules that force athletes to regulate their testosterone levels.

Last month a Swiss court revoked a temporary suspension on the IAAF 's controversial testosterone-curbing rules, meaning the double Olympic champion Semenya can no longer compete in events between the 400m and mile, as he did in June and July.

Speaking at a women's empowerment conference in Johannesburg, the defiant and confident Semenya said that the obsession to get rid of her was due to the fact that she is unquestionably the best in the world.

They attack me because I am undefeated ... I am the best at what I do.

When you are the best in the world, people become obsessed with what you are doing.

I am probably a 'problem' because I have excessive performance, so we must get rid of you, said the self-confident athlete.

Semenya was raised as a woman, runs as a woman and is legally classified as a woman.

The IAAF argues that while it accepts Semenya is legally a woman, she has masculine attributes stemming from differences of sexual development (DSD) that create an unfair advantage over other women.

The IAAF this year introduced rules requiring women with higher than normal male hormone levels - so-called hyperandrogenic athletes - to artificially lower their testosterone to run in at some distances.

It is a position very disputed by South African officials.

Semenya did not comment on issues related to new litigation in the matter, and said that, as an athlete, he just wanted to concentrate on his training, which he described as his weapon.

There is not much I can say about the case, what I can tell you is that I am at the top of my game, he said and added that I had no plans to stop running soon.

The athlete has said that she will not take any medication that alters the body.

The IAAF 's DSD rules -- first adopted last year but suspended pending the legal battle -- came into effect on May 8, applying to distances from 400m to a mile, and including the heptathlon.

The World Medical Association has urged doctors not to apply the controversial new rules, warning that attempts to do so would not be ethical.

comments