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Caster Semenya, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, has stated that she will not feel ashamed of her differences while she continues to challenge the decisions made by the governing bodies of athletics.
A 32-year-old South African athlete has a condition known as differences of sexual development (DSD) and has not been able to participate in 800-meter races since 2019 due to the new regulations set by World Athletics regarding testosterone levels for female competitors.
Semenya contested the regulations and, despite having her case dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Swiss Federal Court, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in July that her human rights had been violated by the Swiss government.
After the case is sent to the ECHR’s Grand Chamber for a final decision, Semenya stated in an interview with the BBC that she is more focused on “defeating the authorities” rather than participating in competitions. She also mentioned that the Paris Olympics next summer is not part of her plans.
Semenya stated on BBC Breakfast, “I personally believe that if you identify as a woman, then you are a woman.”
Despite any disparities that may exist between us, I have come to the realization that I am determined to live my life and advocate for my own beliefs and convictions.
I am aware of my gender and I embrace all that comes with it.
“I am aware that I am unique, and I am not concerned with the technical terminology or diagnosis. My lack of a uterus or internal testicles does not diminish my identity as a woman.”
These are the distinctions that I was born with and I will accept them. I will not feel ashamed because of my uniqueness. I am unique and extraordinary, and I am proud of it.
Semenya, the Olympic champion in the 800m event in both 2012 and 2016 and a three-time world champion in the same distance, stated last week that she has fulfilled all her goals on the track and is currently directing her energy towards her dispute with the governing bodies of the sport.
She expressed her aspirations to combat injustice and advocate for inclusivity and diversity in the future.
I refuse to let selfish leaders enter our company and harm it. My focus is on empowering women and giving them a voice.
Currently, I am not witnessing many women speaking up about their issues or thoughts. It is important for all women to stand up for themselves.
“I am committed to standing up for justice and doing what is morally correct. I have a clear understanding of what is right and how things should be handled. It is time for us, as women, to unite and advocate for what is just.”
World Athletics defended its regulations as necessary, reasonable, and proportionate in order to protect fair competition in the female category in response to the ECHR’s ruling.