PT Usha Claims Caster Semenya CAS Verdict Is A Victory For Women
On Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne dismissed Caster Semenya’s appeal against International IAAF’s rules over testosterone levels in female athletes, making it compulsory for female athletes with high level of testosterone to take suppressant if they wish to compete with the other women participants in international sporting events such as Olympics.
Following the controversy, Olympian P. T. Usha argued that Indian women athletes too have been using high levels of the primary male sexual hormone at national meets.
Following the controversy, Olympian P. T. Usha argued that Indian women athletes too have used high levels of the primary male sexual hormone at national meets in recent times.
“There are a lot of athletes like this in India and this has come up in recent times, especially in events like the 200m, 400m and 800m,” Usha told Sportstar on Wednesday evening after learning about the IAAF’s victory.
“The new rules (that women athletes should take medication to reduce their testosterone levels if they want to compete at the international level) should be enforced as soon as possible in India before others start talking about it,” she added. She also claimed that once the rules are enforced, the timings in many events will slow down.
This is a big victory for women. I welcome this decision because women should only run against women, Usha said.
“Now the timings may not be spectacular as they had been in the recent past. We had come to a stage when natural girls could not do anything about it. So, this is a big victory for women. I welcome this decision because women should only run against women,” Usha said.
C. K. Valson, Secretary of the Athletics Federation of India, however, said the CAS verdict will not affect Indian athletes in a big way.
“I don’t find any problem as of now because Dutee Chand runs only the 100m and 200m. In the case of other athletes, there is no concrete evidence as of now,” added Valson.
Dutee Chand won her challenge in the CAS against the IAAF rules on testosterone levels in 2015.
Having fought and won a long legal battle over her own hyperandrogenism or elevated levels of male sex hormones, Dutee said she understands the pain the South African star athlete is suffering due to IAAF’s stance.
“As soon as I heard the news I felt sad for Semenya. My mind went back to those nearly two years which were my worst days when I did not know what to do. But Semenya has been facing this for a long time (since 2009) and so it is not a sudden thing. I think and hope she will be able to face this better than me,” supporting Semenya’s stance Dutee said, who competes in 100m and 200m events, told PTI.
The Indian sprinter had been through a humiliating gender row herself. This decision implies that women with higher testosterone will have to take suppressive treatment or medication to compete as females in 400m, 800m and 1500m.
“This is a wrong policy of the IAAF and whatever reason they are giving, it is wrong. I fought my case and I won but now Semenya and some others are at the receiving end,” Dutee said
“This is a wrong policy of the IAAF and whatever reason they are giving, it is wrong. I fought my case and I won but now Semenya and some others are at the receiving end,” she added.
“I don’t know what she will do; whether she will take medication (to reduce testosterone level) I cannot say. Whether to file appeal/review she and her team will be able to say. I feel for her and I feel this policy of the IAAF should be completely done away with,” Dutee told. After her return, the star runner won 100m and 200m silver at last year’s Asian Games.
Semenya, the 800m Olympic title winner in 2012 and 2016, was fighting IAAF’s imposed “hyperandrogenic” rules — the regulations for athletes with Differences of Sexual Development who want to compete in the female category.
Feature Picture Credit: BBC