South Africans urged to support Semenya

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South Africa’s Sports Minister Sports Minister Thokozile Xasa has called for support for Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, as she challenges a proposed rule by the IAAF that would restrict the levels of testosterone in female runners.

The proposed rule would apply to women who race in track events from 400m up to a mile.

Under the ruling, female athletes with naturally high testosterone levels, like Semenya, would have to race against men or change events unless they took medication.

Ms Xasa said Semenya had been “targeted” by the IAAF and had the support of the South African government in her case against athletics’ governing body.

Ms Xasa said the South African government had an interest in the case.

“This interest is informed by our historical stance as a nation towards human rights and also if the proposed regulations go unchallenged will have a negative impact to our golden girl, Caster Semenya.

“Our history as a nation was in the main based on the defence of our people against their human rights violation, a right to belong, that all humans are created equal,” she added.

The case will begin on Monday at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).