By | February 9, 2024

Double Olympic Champion, Caster Semenya Seeks Financial Aid for Legal Battle

In a recent turn of events, Caster Semenya, South Africa’s double Olympic champion, has raised a plea for financial help. The financial aid is needed to fund her ongoing legal battle against the regulations that require female athletes with high testosterone levels to take medication. This case is set to be heard in May at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Background of Caster Semenya’s Legal Battle

Caster Semenya, aged 33, emerged victorious from a lengthy legal struggle against Switzerland in the Strasbourg-based international court last July. The court deemed her a victim of discrimination. However, the Swiss authorities, with the backing of World Athletics, have elevated the issue to the ECHR’s Grand Chamber. The Chamber’s rulings are definitive, with hearings scheduled to commence on the 15th of May.

Semenya’s Appeal for Financial Assistance

During a press conference in Johannesburg, Semenya expressed her financial constraints, stating, “We lack funds. We have a lot of experts that come in that we need to pay.” She further added, “Anything that you may contribute, it makes a huge difference.”

Semenya’s Stand on the Issue

Semenya, legally identified as female, is considered as having “differences in sexual development (DSD)”. Since World Athletics introduced the rules in 2018, she has declined to take drugs to lower her testosterone levels. As a consequence, she has been prevented from competing in her preferred 800m event.

The Impact of ECHR Ruling on Semenya’s Career

Despite ECHR ruling in favour of Semenya last July, it was more symbolic than practical. It neither challenges the World Athletics ruling nor allows Semenya to return to competition without drug intake. Semenya, who won Olympic gold in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2009, 2011, and 2017, was compelled to switch to the 5,000m event due to these regulations. Unfortunately, she failed to make it to the final at the 2022 world championships in Eugene.