It was good news last week for 2016 Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya and other female athletes fighting discrimination in the international sports arena. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released a South African-sponsored report in favour of the ‘elimination of discrimination against women and girls in sport’.
Caster Semenya was born to run. But instead of being able to compete on the world athletics track where she belongs, she has faced a protracted series of legal battles and setbacks since 2009 when she stormed onto the international athletics scene, winning her first World Championship 800m.
Shortly after that win, and up until today, Semenya’s identity has been contested and scrutinised by International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) officials who insist that she become a guinea pig for dangerous medical procedures that will reduce her natural testosterone levels.
According to the world’s highest athletics authority, Semenya is “not female enough” to participate in “female category” races and unless she undergoes their discriminatory medical procedures, she is not allowed to compete internationally in elite women’s competitions.
But Semenya has not been deterred by the humiliating sex-determination testing, the calls for medical interventions or the legal opposition she has faced in the…