Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called on all South Africans, Africans and the entire world to rally behind Caster Semenya in their quest to defeat injustice against women in sport, particularly African women.
Mthethwa’s call follows a decision by the Swiss Federal Tribunal to uphold the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) regarding the IAAF (World Athletics) regulations on female athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD).
The 800-metre Olympic champion, Semenya, approached the Swiss Federal Tribunal in May 2019 after CAS,sport’s highest court, ruled that World Athletics’ regulations were necessary for athletes with DSD in races ranging from 400 metres to a mile, to ensure fair competition.
The tribunal has found that the requirement of subjecting certain female athletes to drug or surgical interventions as a precondition to compete does not amount to a violation of Swiss public policy.
Mthethwa said the recent decision of the Swiss Federal Court is very unfortunate and offensive to the fundamental human rights of female athletes classified hyperandrogenic.
“Both the South African government and the global sporting community always held a firm view that these regulations are a gross violation of fundamental human rights of DSD female athletes and therefore rallied behind the appeal by both Semenya and Athletics South Africa (ASA) in their legal tussle with the IAAF,” Mthethwa said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mthethwa said the regulations are not only a violation of human and women rights, but their administration is considered unethical by experts in the field of medical science.