Wed | Dec 1, 2021

The Semenya saga

Published:Saturday | May 4, 2019 | 12:18 AM


South Africans everywhere, blacks and whites alike, may be crying foul in the wake of the IAAF ruling that Caster Semenya should be barred from all IAAF competitions, including the upcoming World Championships, if she does not take a hormone- modifying chemical to reduce her testosterone level.

In the scheme of things, the ruling has focused more on the other athletes and the ‘disadvantage’ that accrues from competing with the “unbeatable” Caster and not so much on her inalienable right as a human being.

The foremost question that naturally arises is: Did Caster use medical aid to transform her biological state?

If the answer is no, why is she being punished for who she is, essentially?

Does ruling defy natural justice?

Is the ruling defying natural justice? What are the ramifications and implications of this rule?

Does it set a case for precedent?

Are there provisions or clauses in the IAAF that will deal with biologically modified humans who switch gender just to dominate?

My own view on this ruling is that it is a bit unjust, simply because she has nothing to do with her physique.

If Caster acquiesces to the demand to receive hormone- depleting medication and suddenly falls from the pinnacle of her career, would that become a personal tragedy for her or a public triumph for her rivals?

Caster has subsequently indicated her unwillingness to follow the demands of the IAAF. I hope she will reconsider. On the face of it, the ruling and subsequent reactions, we have not heard the last of this saga.

Caster Semenya should get adequate counselling and consideration as she contemplates her future in this difficult turn of events.