THE South African Minister of Sport Tokozile Xasa, has given a directive that Athletics South Africa (ASA) must pursue the Caster Semenya matter following and the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) landmark ruling on testosterone reducing drugs.
In a statement, Xasa says she noted the outcome of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) case on this matter and had previously expressed her disappointment with the judgement.
With this in mind, Xasa directed the High-Level Panel dealing with this matter to study the judgement and be advised on the options available in order for her to take the matter forward.
According the minister, the experts on the matter, both medically and legally, made recommendations and "has accepted them as a way forward to pursue this matter further".
She said ASA will appeal the judgement of the CAS and lodge its papers within the prescribed and stipulated period.
The grounds for ASA’s appeal are summarised as follows:
1) ASA applied for recusal of two of the arbitrators who it felt they were conflicted since they have handled the earlier case of the Indian sprinter, Dutee Chand as Caster was also going to be an affected athlete.
2) The strength of scientific, medical and legal case we presented, we believe, the outcome is inconceivable on the fact. The facts before court and the outcome do not match.
3) The pertinent legal questions that the court should have addressed were not addressed. The court simply gave the unfettered latitude to the IAAF to do as it pleases. For instance, it has not been answered as to how the IAAF will implement the regulations and how ethical issues will be addressed.
Xasa's department will work with other organs of state to intensify the international lobby and approach the United Nations General Assembly to sanction the IAAF for violating International Human Rights Instruments.
"The government will also have to mobilise and educate society on the key arguments and tenets of the case. To this end, government will make available information to the public and also develop online information instruments to empower the public on this key matter," said the statement.
Xasa has urged all South Africans to continue supporting Semenya "as we continue with the appeal process".
Meanwhile, there has been mixed reaction on this matter with most advising the athlete against taking any drugs to reduce her testosterone but rather challenge the decision.
In Kenya, two sprinters have been dropped from the team for the IAAF World Relay championship in Japan this week, after blood tests showed high levels of testosterone, Athletics Kenya said on Friday.
The decision to leave Kenya's 100m and 200m champion Maximilla Imali and 400m runner Evangeline Makena off the team comes after Semenya's highly publicised case against plans to force some women to regulate their testosterone levels.