Caster Semenya will not defend her world 800m title in Doha, in September, after a Swiss judge overruled a temporary suspension of the IAAF‘s controversial testosterone-curbing rules, her representatives said Tuesday.
The ruling means the 28-year-old can no longer compete, as she did in June and July.
The World Championships are scheduled between September 28 – October 6 in the Qatari capital.
“I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned,” said the South African, who is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
Dorothee Schramm, the lawyer leading Semenya’s appeal, added that the judge had made a “procedural decision” that has no impact on the appeal itself. “We will continue to pursue Caster’s appeal and fight for her fundamental human rights. A race is always decided at the finish line.”
Semenya is locked in a dispute with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which should be settled by a final ruling by Switzerland’s supreme court on the superstar athlete’s appeal against the regulations. Semenya is classified as a woman, was raised as a woman and races as a woman.
But for the IAAF, women like Semenya, with certain masculine attributes due to differences of sexual development (DSD), are classified, biologically, as men. It is a position hotly contested by South African officials.