South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya is appealing for financial help to continue her legal struggle against World Athletics and its regulations on intersex athletes. Semenya and her team need around £130,000 (R3.1 million) to defend her case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Semenya and Her Case: Background
Semenya’s fight centres on rules requiring female athletes with differences of sex development (DSD) to lower their naturally occurring high testosterone levels.
Although she won against Switzerland at the ECHR last year, the country is taking the case to the Grand Chamber for review.
“[This fight] is not about me,” Semenya told journalists. “It’s for other women… who are required… to lower their… testosterone.”
High Costs of Challenging Semenya Regulations
Semenya’s lawyers estimate the total cost of her international legal battles to be over £2.3 million. “Has Caster not suffered enough? Have people in Caster’s position not suffered enough?” asked Greg Nott, her attorney.
He stressed the ECHR battle costs could have major “ramifications” for athletes affected by the regulations.
Semenya Case Focuses on Human Rights
Patrick Bracher, another attorney for Semenya, emphasized the focus is on human rights, which were not considered by previous courts.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) supported World Athletics’ position, while the Swiss federal court did not address human rights arguments in rejecting Semenya’s appeal.
Intersex As a Natural Variation
“Intersex is a [congenital] thing. You cannot control nature,” Semenya stated.
The fight, which began when she burst onto the international athletics scene in 2009, has seen Semenya become both a target of body-shaming and an inspiring figure for fairness and inclusion.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ARTICLES BY LUKE MENEZIES