The decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to discriminate against Caster Semenya by claiming it is necessary is extremely disappointing. Caster Semenya is a strong, healthy, athletic, black woman. She was born a girl, was raised a girl, is not taking any performance enhancements. She is not a cheat.
Ms Semenya is being discriminated against because she has naturally high testosterone levels. Forcing her to undergo medical intervention to allow her to compete is humiliating, unnecessary, unfair, and contrary to her human rights.
Other athletes have been born with natural biological variations that provide them with an advantage – such as Michael Phelps’ 203cm wingspan and Ian Thorpe’s size 16 feet – but they weren’t made to have alter their natural biological characteristics to reduce any advantage. Ms Semenya should not be singled out.
This decision perpetuates the discrimination, forced medical intervention, stigma and injustice that many people born with variations of sex characteristics have been subjected to for decades.
I look forward to living in a world that understands, accepts and celebrates people born with all types of natural biological variations, rather than discriminating against them.
ILGA World Intersex Committee Chair
IHRA Co-Executive Director