Caster Semenya files lawsuit in European Court of Human Rights against testosterone rule
Semenya hopes her latest bid will see the European court 'put an end to the longstanding human rights violations by World Athletics against women athletes'.
Johannesburg: South Africa's two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya has filed a lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights challenging restrictions of testosterone in female athletes, her lawyers said Thursday.
The World Athletics governing body in 2018 banned Semenya and other female athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) from races between 400 metres and a mile unless they take hormone-suppressing drugs.
Semenya, 30, unsuccessfully challenged those rules at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.
On 19 February, she made another fresh attempt - taking the matter to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
"Semenya's ongoing fight for dignity, equality, and the human rights of women in sport took a crucial step forward with the filing of an application" to the ECHR, her lawyers Norton Rose Fulbright, announced in a statement.
According to the lawyers, she is asking the court to find Switzerland to have "failed in its positive obligations to protect her against the violation of her rights under the European Convention on Human Rights".
In its judgement last year, the Swiss court concluded that the CAS decision "cannot be challenged".
But Semenya hopes her latest bid will see the European court "put an end to the longstanding human rights violations by World Athletics against women athletes".
"All we ask is to be allowed to run free, for once and for all, as the strong and fearless women we are and have always been," she is quoted as saying in the statement.
No dates have been set yet for the hearing of the case.
Meantime, the athlete is yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
Neeraj Chopra, Hima Das to embark on training and competition tour of Turkey in build-up to Tokyo Olympics
Apart from Chopra and fellow Olympic bound javelin thrower Shivpal Singh, country's relay racers (both 4x100m and 4x400m men and women) will be part of the 40-odd contingent that also includes coaches.
In normal times a vast wave of supporters, decked out in the red and white of Athletic or the blue and white of La Real, would have embarked on the 900-kilometre journey from the far north of the Iberian peninsula to the far south to fill the 60,000-capacity La Cartuja.
The 26-year-old will be training under foreign coach Addy Ruiter, who has guided athletes like Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda, the current world record holder in men's 5000m and 10,000m. Kenya, Morocco and Uganda are considered the hubs of steeplechase.