Caster Semenya vs IAAF: South Africa's Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa to support star athlete personally at CAS hearing

Johannesburg: South Africa's Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa said on Wednesday she will fly to Switzerland to support Caster Semenya at a landmark hearing on proposed rules to restrict female athletes' testosterone levels.

The Olympic champion is appearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne to challenge rules proposed by track and field's governing body that would force her to lower her testosterone.

Caster Semenya vs IAAF: South Africas Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa to support star athlete personally at CAS hearing

File image of South Africa's Caster Semenya. AP

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) says it is introducing the rules to create a "level playing field" for other female athletes.

Read Firstpost's detailed explainer about how the Caster Semenya case against the IAAF on hyperandrogenism will have wider ramifications in athletics, here

What's IAAF's rationale behind the controversial hyperandrogenism rules and why are some runners backing it?

Why are IAAF's critics claiming its hyperandrogenism rules are racist and unfair?

Xasa, who leaves on Wednesday evening, will be alongside Semenya to hear deliberations between the IAAF and Athletics South Africa, until the end of the hearings on Friday.

"Upon my arrival in Switzerland, my responsibility will be to convey the message of support from President Cyril Ramaphosa and members of the cabinet," the minister said in a statement.

Xasa will also speak about South Africa's human rights stance on the issue of female classification and reclassification.

Many South Africans have thrown their weight behind Semenya in the media and online.

Last week the government launched a campaign dubbed #NaturallySuperior in a bid to drum up international support for Semenya's fight against the rules which they have labelled "discriminatory".

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Updated Date: Feb 20, 2019 23:36:56 IST

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