Sports has a unique ability to unite people of different backgrounds, races, genders and nationalities. In more ways than one, sports has directly affected and influenced society by breaking down preconceptions and challenging the status quo.
One athlete who has exhibited this is ‘Golden Girl’ Mokgadi Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic gold medalist and world champion middle-distance runner. Semenya is a hyperandrogenic athlete which means her body has high levels of male sex hormones such as testosterone, a genetic variation which we should be celebrating in the world of athletics as it shows the community is committed to inclusion but instead the International Association of Athletics Federations is proposing that hyperandrogenic and DSD (differences of sexual development) female athletes should take a hormone suppressant drug to lower their testosterone levels in order to be eligible to compete.
The proposed rule has raised concerns of human rights violations which we will unpack with the Commission of Gender Equality’s acting chairperson Tamara Mathebula as well as Candice Martin, a sports scientists from Sports Science LAB South Africa who explains the medical effects of hormone suppressants and how this will affect Semenya’s performance.
This edition of Law Focus is brought to by Wits Radio Academy: Produced by Simba Honde and Hosted by Veronica Makhoali, Millicent Ndiweni, Sesethu Zingelwa and Siyabonga Motha. Technical production provided by Kutlwano “Gwinch” Serame.