South Africa to fight testosterone rule

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"Athletics South Africa (ASA) has studied the new regulations issued by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on the latest classification of female athletes and the guidance that was issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), on what should be followed by the IAAF".

South Africa will challenge athletics' new rules on hyperandrogenism as it seeks to keep up double Olympian Caster Semenya's status as the queen of middle distance athletics, Athletics South Africa (ASA) said on Thursday.

"An Indian sprinter was asked to abide by these regulations in July 2014 and she appealed to CAS on grounds that the regulations unfairly discriminated against women who naturally produce higher levels of testosterone".

South Africa's top athletics body says it will challenge recently introduced worldwide regulations that would force female athletes whose testosterone levels exceed a certain amount to compete in male events unless they lower their levels of the hormone.

"The regulations are exclusively to ensure fair and meaningful competition within the female classification for the benefit of the broad class of female athletes", said the IAAF in a statement.But the decision has provoked an explosion of anger.

Indeed, South Africa's minister of sport has coined them the "Caster Semenya Regulations", while the country's ruling governing party have called them "unfair, unjust and blatant racist", even comparing them to policies during the apartheid era.

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Semenya's crushing 800m victory as an 18-year-old at the 2009 IAAF World Championships was preceded, it later emerged, by her having to undergo a sex test.

South African law professor Steve Cornelius described it as "ostracising certain individuals, all of them female, for no reason other than being what they were born to be" in a stinging letter resigning from the IAAF's disciplinary tribunal.

In July 2015 CAS put the burden of proof back onto the IAAF to show that higher levels of testosterone improved performance levels in women, giving them two years to do so.

"There are obviously some issues there, but I can not judge. I am who I am and I am proud of myself", she wrote over an image of herself looking skyward posted on Twitter.

Greece's Olympic and world pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi has likened the IAAF restrictions on testosterone levels to cutting off athletes' legs or arms to make them equal.

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