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What IAAF regulations mean for Caster Semenya

The International Association of Athletes Federation (IAAF) has announced new laws regarding female testosterone regulations that will come into effect from 1 November 2018.

READ: Limpopo Sports Dept condemns IAAF’s new female classification rule

The new regulations require any athlete who has a Disorder of Sexual Development (DSD) resulting in levels of circulating testosterone (in serum) being five (5) nmol/L or above and who is androgen-insensitive, to meet certain criteria to be eligible to compete in restricted events in an international competition - or to set a world record in a restricted event at competition that is not an international competition.

The new laws will apply to athletes that compete in events including 400m, hurdles races, 800m, 1,500m, one-mile races and combined events over the same distances (‘restricted events’).

Speaking to host Gugu Mhlungu, standing in for Eusebius McKaiser, Sports Scientist Dr Ross Tucker said there have been extensive criticisms and legal challenges followed by these new laws. He said he looks at this as 'the third installment of a trilogy'.

But the first installment, of course, was in 2009. You will remember that that's when Semenya emerged as an 18-year-old who won that title in Berlin and caused all sorts of controversy. The response to that was that IAAF re-wrote their policy or their guidelines around these conditions.

Dr Ross Tucker, sports scientist

That policy was then challenged in 2014 and 2015 in the courts by an Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, that was in episode no. 2 and that challenge was successful. So IAAF had to go back to the drawing board. They had two years to come back with evidence in which to reinstate the guidelines and that is what we have arrived at last week.

Dr Ross Tucker, Sport Scientist

Listen below to the full interview:


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