Semenya says she never felt supported by other women
Written by Seth Smith on December 11, 2019
Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya, who has been locked in a battle over her testosterone levels with athletics authorities earlier this year, said that she has not felt supported by other women in sport.
“Since I have been in sport I have never really felt very supported, I’ve never felt recognised mostly by women,” said Semenya during a women’s conference in Johannesburg where she was the headline speaker.
Semenya appealed the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) ruling that supported regulations introduced by the sport’s governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Semenya was unable to defend her 800m world title in Doha earlier this year because she refused to take hormone-suppressing drugs.
These say that XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) can race in distances from 400m to a mile only if they take medication to reach a reduced testosterone level.
Despite the IAAF receiving support from some current and former athletes, the decision to reduce testosterone levels in women’s athletics has also attracted criticism from human rights organisations. The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in support of Semenya in March.
“I think it comes more into the international stage when you see your own rivals come with this… what can I call it… these rude responses in terms of me competing against them,” said Semenya.
British runner Lynsey Sharp said in May that she had received death threats for past comments she made about the South African.
Semenya, who was greeted by cheers at the conference, said she still saw herself as a middle-distance runner.
“Whoever is going to stop me from running is going to have to drag me out of the track,” Semenya said.
The 28-year-old said she was undecided about whether she would switch to longer distances or pursue a career in another sport.
“In terms of changing events I haven’t decide anything about moving up or moving down. I still consider myself a middle-distance runner,” Semenya said.
Caster Semenya has recently decided to pursue another career in football, soccer. Caster Semenya has since joined a football team and is playing soccer, football.
We wish her well for her footballing career.
(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg Editing by Christian Radnedge)