Caster Semenya needs South Africa to rally behind her. Department of Sport and Recreation says her battle is not over. She has a naturally high testosterone level. So, it means she can’t defend her Olympic 800-meter title at the 2021 Tokyo Games. CNN reported that she lost her appeal to not resort to hormones. Importantly, many South African’s agree, her battle is our battle.
Caster Semenya – getting behind our golden girl
Significantly, the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) ruling saying women must undergo hormone treatment to suppress testosterone levels is upheld by the Swiss Federal Court. Furthermore, this matter is not new to athletics. Shockingly, a 2015 study published by Patrick Fenichel and Stephane Bermon reports incidents of athletes from developing countries being subjected to forms of female genital mutilation.
Ironically, the clinical report also says, “Raised levels of testosterone [do not show] an unfair advantage to the athlete.” Subsequently, the article says women athletes are “vulnerable to unnecessary medical interventions”. Seemingly, intervention occurs even when there is no “evidence of cheating or athletic advantage.” Moreover, this question remains how is the playing field to be levelled?
Hyperandrongenic also symptoms occur in men
Additionally, if women are penalised for high testosterone levels, shouldn’t men take hormones for the same condition? Technically, low body fat can affect testosterone and female hormones. Importantly, athletes, by the nature of their profession, have low body fat. Interestingly, research suggests that testosterone levels are not a valid gender mean. Apparently, both sexes may vary yet remain men or women.
Caster is our Golden Girl
South Africans adore sports heroes and heroines. Consequently, support for Semenya is already hitting social media.
Consistently, citizens are passionate about Golden Girl Semenya. Importantly, borrowing from rugby, Caster: “we are one in union”. Importantly, Caster herself is courageous.
Additionally, on 29th April 2019, The World Medical Associaton (WMA) urged doctors to refuse to participate in hormone treatment for women athletes. Moreover, they say any such treatment is unethical. How do you feel about this issue, South Africa? Have your say.