Olympic champion, Athletics South Africa and IAAF have filed additional submissions following the landmark hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport
The ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on its case involving Caster Semenya and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has been delayed after additional submissions and materials were filed, the court has said.
Described by CAS as “one of the most pivotal” cases to have ever been heard by the court, the landmark hearing concluded as planned last month and the panel’s decision was expected to be announced on or before March 26.
But on Thursday CAS announced that its verdict would not be issued until the end of April.
The case concerns the IAAF’s proposed new rules on female classification, the introduction of which South Africa’s two-time Olympic and three-time world 800m champion Semenya is seeking to overturn.
Last April it was announced by athletics’ global governing body that female athletes with naturally high testosterone levels would have to race against men or switch events unless they take medication to lower those levels under proposed new eligibility regulations for female classification.
The rules for athletes who have ‘differences of sexual development’ would apply to the 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 1500m, one mile races and combined events over the same distances.
Athletes who wish to compete would be required to take medication for six months beforehand and then maintain a lower testosterone level. Should they not want to take the medication they would be able to compete in international competitions in disciplines other than track events from 400m to the mile, or they could compete in men’s or mixed gender competitions or domestic (non-international) events.
In a statement released on Thursday, CAS said: “The arbitration proceedings at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) involving the South African athlete Caster Semenya, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) (collectively, the parties) continue.
“The CAS had initially announced that the final decision would be communicated on 26 March 2019, i.e. 6 months prior to the World Championships in Doha. Since the hearing held in Lausanne, Switzerland, from 18 to 22 February 2019, the parties have filed additional submissions and materials and agreed to postpone the issuance of the CAS award until the end of April 2019. No specific date has been set yet.
“The arbitration procedures concern the “IAAF Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athletes with Differences of Sex Development)” that were due to come into effect on 1 November 2018 and which are currently suspended, pending the outcome of the CAS procedures.”