Caster Semenya seeks financial support for ongoing legal battletext_fields
Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya is seeking financial assistance for her ongoing legal battle against regulations mandating female athletes with high testosterone levels to undergo medication.
The 33-year-old South African athlete, who secured a legal victory last July, faces another legal challenge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) starting on May 15.
Semenya won a previous case against Switzerland at the ECHR, which determined she experienced discrimination from the Court of Arbitration for Sport. However, Swiss authorities, backed by World Athletics, have appealed to the ECHR's Grand Chamber, maintaining the requirement for medication.
Semenya disclosed, "We lack funds. We have a lot of experts that come in that we need to pay. Anything that you may contribute, it makes a huge difference."
The athlete, classified with "differences in sexual development (DSD)," has refused testosterone-reducing medication, resulting in her exclusion from her preferred two-lap distance. The ECHR ruling in July was symbolic, not challenging World Athletics' decision and not permitting Semenya's return without medication.
In her book, "The Race To Be Myself," Semenya acknowledged her top-level sports career is over, expressing her focus on advocating for young athletes facing similar challenges. Her legal team, working pro-bono, estimates upcoming ECHR Grand Chamber hearings will cost around $180,000, contributing to Semenya's decade-long legal battle totaling approximately 30 million rand ($1.5 million).
World Athletics introduced DSD regulations to ensure fair competition in women's events. The organisation later amended rules, requiring DSD athletes like Semenya to reduce blood testosterone levels below 2.5 nanomoles per litre for two years to participate in any distances.