… as South Africa sees it as targeting Semenya
By John Tuerijama
ATHLETICS Namibia (AN) President Erwin Naimwhaka said that the national athletic body will abide by the new rule of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on testosterone level for female athletes.
Responding to questions by Confidente this week, and with Athletic South Africa (ASA) defending their gold medalist Caster Semenya as being targeted by (IAAF), Naimwhaka said the new rule was unanimously adopted by the IAAF Council.
Asked if he also shared the view that the new rule was targeting Semenya, Naimwhaka said that they believe fairness was important to ensure integrity of the sport, and that the IAAF must always be occupied with the issue of fairness as the parameters of fairness were not static.
“As such Athletics Namibia is expected to abide by it until we are otherwise advised by the IAAF,” said Naimwhaka before emphasising that, “The issue of fairness is important and must always be addressed.” Naimwaka further said, “Just as those who raised it culminated in the new rule, those that feel aggrieved by the new rule must also be allowed to raise their concerns or objections to the rule and such platforms are available within the IAAF structures. “I will advise the IAAF that in attempting to ensure fairness that such process is also fair. I believe the issue being addressed is an issue of fairness.
“It may be that those that are currently affected belong to a certain race, but the issue of testosterones is a natural occurrence that can occur with any race.”The IAAF recently said that from 1 November this year, it will limit entry for all international events from 400 meters through the mile to women with testosterone levels below a specified level. Women with elevated testosterone must reduce their level for “six months, by use of hormonal contraceptives for example, before being eligible to run and maintain that lowered level. The African National Congress (ANC) party said in a media release recently that it supported Semenya in “yet another attempt to exclude and discriminate against her.”
“We call on government to challenge this grossly unfair, unjust and blatant racist attempt by the IAAF to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and have these regulations set aside,” the ANC said. The new rules could yet be challenged by Semenya at sports’ highest court in Lausanne, Switzerland with the CAS having already ruled once against the IAAF for trying to impose rules on hyperandrogenism.
Also quoted is the IAAF president Sebastian Coe who said, “IAAF has a responsibility to ensure a level playing field for athletes where success is determined by talent, dedication and hard work rather than other contributing factors.
“Our evidence and data show that testosterone, either naturally produced or artificially inserted into the body, provides significant performance advantages in female athletes.”
The previous rules were challenged at CAS by sprinter Dutee Chand of India and overturned before the 2016 Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The South African Olympic body’s president said it was ‘disappointed by the IAAF ruling, and especially given that Semenya’s name is again being dragged through the publicity mill.’
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015