The European Court of Human Rights voted with a 4-3 judge majority that Caster had been discriminated against 

BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGE BY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in Caster Semenya’s favour over World Athletics’ rules over testosterone levels. The Olympic gold medalist was effectively blocked from competing in the 800m and 1500m in 2019 when World Athletics imposed rules limiting testosterone levels for female athletes. 

In order to compete, Caster was expected to artificially limit her natural testosterone levels. However, when she underwent treatment to reduce her testosterone, she felt unwell and sick. Afterwards, she refused to limit her testosterone and appealed the rules on the grounds of discrimination. 

On 11 July, The European Court of Human Rights voted with a 4-3 judge majority that Caster had been discriminated against by World Athletics’ rules. It is unclear at the moment whether this will mean that Caster can compete in the Paris Olympics next year. 

She posted a heartfelt message to her Instagram where she wrote: “I am elated at the outcome of the ruling. It has been a long time coming. I have and will always stand up for discrimination of any kind in sports.”

“I have suffered a lot at the hands of the powers that be and been treated poorly,” she continued. “The hard work that I have put into being the athlete I am has been questioned. My rights violated. My career impacted. All of it so damaging. Mentally, emotionally, physically and financially.”

In 2020, Caster told BBC Sport: “I refuse to let World Athletics drug me or stop me from being who I am. Excluding female athletes or endangering our health solely because of our natural abilities puts World Athletics on the wrong side of history. I will continue to fight for the human rights of female athletes, both on the track and off the track, until we can all run free the way we were born.” 

Earlier this year World Athletics announced that they would not allow trans women who had been through puberty to compete in female events. 

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