South African athlete Caster Semenya is bringing her authorized battle to take part in girls’s sports activities to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), her newest bid to “put an end to the longstanding human rights violations by World Athletics against women athletes.” The lawsuit from the two-time Olympic champion challenges restrictions on testosterone ranges in feminine athletes that forestalls sure girls from collaborating in worldwide sports activities competitions.
In a tweet Thursday morning, Semenya shared a press launch from her legal professionals, Norton Rose Fulbright, which mentioned “Semenya’s ongoing fight for dignity, equality, and the human rights of women in sport took a crucial step forward with the filing of an application” to the ECHR.
The lawsuit asks that the Strasbourg courtroom discover that “Switzerland has failed in its positive obligations to protect her against the violation of her rights.” In September 2020, Semenya lost her long-running legal battle at Switzerland’s Supreme Court, stopping her from competing on the Tokyo Olympics until she agrees to medical interventions to decrease her testosterone. She had appealed towards a 2019 ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport primarily based in Switzerland that upheld 2018 guidelines from the worldwide athletics governing physique World Athletics that prohibit some feminine runners with naturally greater ranges of testosterone from collaborating in worldwide girls’s sports activities competitions.
Such rules contain “sex testing” for girls’s participation in sport, which violates a number of internationally protected human rights together with rights to privateness, dignity well being and non-discrimination, in line with a December 2020 report by Human Rights Watch. The report referred to as World Athletics’ sex-testing rules “inherently subjective and degrading,” and highlighted that the testosterone ranges used to rule out sure girls from collaborating in sports activities fall “within an arbitrary and largely unscientific range.” HRW mentioned the regulation has been used to police the our bodies of ladies athletes with greater testosterone ranges, forcing medical interventions upon them to decrease ranges of the hormone so they might maintain competing, and has additionally disproportionately affected girls from the Global South.
In a June 2020 report, which highlighted Semenya’s case, the U.N. referred to as for sporting our bodies to “review, revise and revoke” eligibility guidelines and rules which have unfavourable results on athletes’ rights.
“I hope the European court will put an end to the longstanding human rights violations by World Athletics against women athletes,” Semenya mentioned within the assertion launched Thursday. “All we ask is to be allowed to run free, for once and for all, as the strong and fearless women we are and always have been.”