Indian gender-row sprinter Dutee Chand has on Thursday said Caster Semenya’s loss over testosterone rules at the court was ” completely wrong.” Chand also fought and won similar battle over her hyperandrogenism, or high levels of male sex hormones. She said she felt sorry for the South African star Caster Semenya, whose career faces a trying time with the court ruling.
“This is wrong. I feel sad for her, she has been made to suffer like me,” 23 year old Chand said. Chand was cleared to compete last year after winning a court appeal against International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regulations against her.
The Indian sprinter successfully challenged and won the IAAF’s stance on hyperandrogenism, which prompted the world governing body to change its rules to target only middle-distance events.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne dismissed Semenya’s appeal against the IAAF measures, triggering provoked reactions in South Africa the home country of Caster Semenya.
The court rule which the court granted will require women with elevated testosterone to take suppressive treatment if they wish to compete in female events. To defend her title at the world championships in September, Semenya, 28, will now have to take medication, probably including birth control pills.
Chand, who won 100m and 200m silver at last year’s Asian Games, her first major event since returning to competition, was hopeful that Semenya’s legal team will find a way to succeed.
“It was my legal team that handled her case. The team that fought my case, I handed them over to Caster Semenya. I think she and her team will find a way out. She is an Olympic medallist and her country is behind her.” Chand said.
The CAS ruling raised several concerns about the IAAF regulations, calling them “discriminatory” and questioning their implementation, as well as the lack of evidence proving an advantage from higher testosterone levels.
“See this (the condition) is natural. To increase and decrease testosterones is not in our hand. Now medical scientists can guide her. But she is not poor like me and is well known with a lot of money and resources,” said Chand, who was born in rural poverty.
The court decision drew anger from officials and fans in South Africa, whose minister for women, Bathabile Dlamini, called it “the violation of her rights as human being”.
Semenya, has vowed to “once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world”.