ASA pledge support to Semenya in wake of IAAF rule

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THE OLYMPIC 800m champion Caster Semenya may have to reduce her naturally high testosterone levels in order to compete as well as defend her world title.

Embattled South African athlete Caster Semenya has told journalists that "she has no time for nonsense", when asked about the impending IAAF regulations that could require her to take medication to reduce testosterone levels.

In a statement released on Thursday, the federation requires _any athlete who has a difference of sexual development (DSD) that means her levels of circulating testosterone (in serum) are five (5) nmol/L or above and who is androgen-sensitive to meet the following criteria to be eligible to compete in restricted events in an global competition (or set a World Record in a restricted event at competition that is not an worldwide competition).

"We have a responsibility to ensure a level playing field for athletes. where success is determined by talent, dedication and hard work rather than other contributing factors", IAAF president Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

In a press statement, ASA recognised that the female classification process started years ago, up to the point that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) became involved, but stated that they would consult experts on the new ruling.

It has also seen backlash spread across social media, with users calling the regulation "sexist".

"Like many other sports, we choose to have two classifications for our competition - men's events and women's events".

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Athletes who want to compete must take medication for six months before they can compete - and then maintain a lower testosterone level.

All testosterone, either naturally occurring or artificially inserted into the body, provides significant performance enhancements.
The rules were developed to combat the "unfair advantage" that women have if their bodies produce higher than normal levels of testosterone.

When the IAAF limit was in place, Semenya's times slowed but since its suspension, she has returned to dominance in the women's 800 meters.

Sport star Caster Semenya has fired back at haters with a Twitter post on Thursday letting everyone know exactly how she feels.

Research over a decade showed 7.1 in every 1000 elite track and field athletes had elevated testosterone levels - 140 times greater than the female population.

The new IAAF rules could yet be challenged at CAS.

"When I do my long runs I feel like I can feed into distance running", the 27-year-old said. I don't think she even qualified for the Commonwealth Games.

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