‘I won this battle long ago’: Caster Semenya on losing at Swiss supreme court
Double Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya has responded to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland’s decision, saying: “A man can change the rules, but he can’t rule her life.”
On Tuesday night, Semenya lost her long legal battle against regulations requiring women with high testosterone levels to take medication to compete internationally between 400m to a mile.
TimesLIVE reported that Switzerland’s supreme court dismissed Semenya's bid to overturn last year’s ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The bid ordered her to take medication to reduce her naturally high testosterone levels before competing in events between 400m and 1,500m.
The ruling means Semenya cannot defend her Olympic 800m title at the Tokyo Games next year or compete in any events from 400m unless she agrees to lower her testosterone level through medication.
On social media, Semenya said while she may have failed to overturn the rule, the truth was she won the battle long ago.
“Go back to my achievements, then you will understand. Doors might be closed [but are] not locked,” said Semenya.
Chills my people,A man can change the rules but the very same man can not rule my life,What I'm saying is that I might have failed against them the truth is that I have won this battle long ago,Go back to my achievements then you will understand.Doors might be closed not locked.— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) September 8, 2020
In a statement, Semenya said she would continue to fight for the human rights of female athletes.
“I am very disappointed by this ruling‚ but refuse to let World Athletics drug me or stop me from being who I am‚” she said.
“Excluding female athletes or endangering our health solely because of our natural abilities puts World Athletics on the wrong side of history.
“I will continue to fight for the human rights of female athletes‚ both on the track and off the track, until we can all run free the way we were born. I know what is right and will do all I can to protect basic human rights for young girls everywhere.”
Following the ruling, messages of support rolled in for Semenya.
Here is a snapshot of what many had to say:
The policing of Caster Semenya’s body is rooted in anti-Blackness as much as it’s rooted in homophobia and transphobia. She is too Black and too fast. Caster will be forced to alter her body to make slower white women more comfortable. https://t.co/XheRMVC10y— Andrea L. Pino-Silva (@andreactually) September 9, 2020
It seems it is really hard for them to accept that an African woman is winning them all. Caster Semenya will always be our world champion! 🇿🇦🐍— Ulrich Janse van Vuuren (@UlrichJvV) September 8, 2020
Caster Mokgadi Semenya! It’s a heavy day for you, following the ruling of the Swiss court to deny you the opportunity of competing on the global stage at the Olympics. Still fully behind you though. Your strength, your will.— Cathy Mohlahlana (@CathyMohlahlana) September 8, 2020
So Michael Phelps's highly unique physiology and biochemistry were celebrated throughout his Olympic career while Caster Semenya's are subjected to invasive scrutiny.— Dead Sea Squirrel (@the_ns) September 8, 2020
The treatment of Caster Semenya is by World Athletics is how white supremacy functions. I’m so heartbroken for her. The world hates black women.— Chantelle (@Chant_ella) September 8, 2020
The fact Caster Semenya is forced to lower her natural testosterone levels is petty af. Notice how the guys dont have to worry about that, at all.— Michaela 🖤 (tater tot) (@ChaelaT182) September 9, 2020
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.