ATHLETICS NEWS - Middle-distance runner and Olympic medalist Caster Semenya sent out a tweet hinting at retirement following her losing her case to stop the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from forcing her and other athletes to lower their testosterone levels through medication.
Semenya posted an inspirational quote saying: “Knowing when to walk away is wisdom. Being able to be courage. Walking away with your head held high is dignity.”
She accompanied this quote only with the “shrug emoji”, likely indicating that she is still considering her options.
Semenya will compete in what could be her last ever international 800m race when she lines up at the Diamond League season opener in Doha on Friday night.
This followed Semenya’s original reaction to the ruling, which saw her sharing a quote on her social media saying “sometimes it’s better to react with no reaction”.
South Africans chose to ignore her advice and rally behind her on social media. Messages of support have been pouring in for Semenya and she has been trending since.
It was reported on Wednesday that Semenya said she would consider taking the fight with IAAF back to court.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed on Wednesday it had dismissed requests for arbitration filed by Semenya and Athletics South Africa (ASA) in their attempt to have controversial new IAAF regulations overturned.
“Ms Semenya is reviewing the decision with her legal team and considering whether to file an appeal,” Semenya’s lawyers said in a statement.
The new rules would force athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) to take the medication in order to reduce their natural testosterone levels to 5nmol/L in order to compete internationally over distances ranging from 400m to the mile (1.609km).
Time magazine recently declared Semenya one of its 100 influential people, alongside President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The magazine listed Semenya as an icon, saying South Africa’s favourite sports star had taught the world that “sex isn’t always binary, and caused us to question the justness of distributing societal benefits according to ‘male’ and ‘female’ classifications.”
“Sports eligibility, she and others say, should not be based on hormone levels or other differences of sex development. If successful, Semenya’s effort could open the door for all who identify as women to compete in track events without having to first medically lower their testosterone levels below a proposed limit,” Time said.
“Ultimately, this incredibly difficult issue is a political one for the sport to resolve. But however it is addressed, Semenya will have already made a singular historical contribution to our understanding of biological sex.”