Court decision

Update: Caster Semenya - Swiss Federal Tribunal suspends IAAF regulations

By Richard Gardiner and Robert Dickfos / 07 June 2019
2 min.
Worthwhile read for: Athlete, Sport Manager, Athlete Management


Earlier this year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected Caster Semenya’s appeal against new testosterone regulations implemented by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).  The CAS decision meant that the World and Olympic Champion would be unable to compete in middle distance events without taking medication to reduce her natural testosterone levels.  Here is our previous article in relation to CAS’ decision. 

Suspension of the IAAF regulations

On 3 June 2019, the Swiss Federal Tribunal issued a temporary suspension of the IAAF regulations on testosterone limits, following an appeal against the CAS decision filed by Semenya and Athletics South Africa.  During this suspension, Semenya will be able to continue competing in middle distance events. 

The ‘superprovisional’ suspension order will remain in force until 25 June 2019, by which time the IAAF is required to respond to the appeal submissions.  The IAAF has stated publicly that they will ‘seek a swift reversion of the superprovisional order moving forwards so that the DSD Regulations apply to all affected athletes in order … to protect the integrity of the sport’.

Going forward

Once the IAAF has lodged its response to Semenya’s submissions, appeal proceedings will commence in the Swiss Federal Tribunal.  The findings of the Tribunal will determine the validity of testosterone testing as a means for classifying male and female competitors and we will continue to monitor the outcome of the appeal.

If you have concerns about how testosterone regulations may affect you, your sporting organisation or the Australian sports sector in general, please contact a member of our Leisure, Sport and Entertainment team.

Richard Gardiner
Richard is a Partner in our Dispute Resolution practice with extensive experience in advising clients in disputes related to property, digital commerce and disciplinary and regulatory matters.
Robert Dickfos
Robert is an Associate in our Dispute Resolution practice.

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