Caster Semenya won the first round in her challenge against the IAAF’s female eligibility regulations with the scheduled implementation deadline extended to March 2019.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday decided to postpone the new regulations that would require women who produced natural testosterone levels of more than five nanomoles to take medication to reduce it if they wanted to compete.
The regulations were supposed to be implemented on November 1 where athletes with differences of sexual development (DSDs) would have to reduce their blood testosterone to the required levels for a continuous period of at least six months.
The deadline has now been moved to the end of March by which time the CAS is expected to have made its ruling following hearings in February.
Athletics SA (ASA), who has joined Semenya’s challenge of the IAAF’s new regulations, said the CAS had issued a directive which effectively suspended the rules pending the outcome of the appeal.
The hearing would take place in either Lausanne or Geneva from 18 February 18 to 25 February 2019.
“ASA is very pleased with the outcome and accordingly thank the legal teams of ASA and that of athlete Caster Semenya for the hard work done to date,” the South African athletics body said in a statement.
“The ASA appeal of the regulations is based on a number of points including its discriminatory effect on female athletes like Semenya. The South African legal team will also argue that the medical data relied upon by the IAAF is flawed.”
The IAAF said it had agreed to the delay “to avoid further delay in the proceedings brought by Mokgadi Caster Semenya and Athletics South Africa (ASA) challenging their legality”.
The global athletics governing body said it remained “very confident of the legal, scientific, and ethical bases for the regulations” and expected the CAS to reject the challenges.
“Prolonging the uncertainty for athletes looking to compete in these distances next year and beyond is unfair and so we have reached a compromise with the claimants,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
“We have agreed not to enforce the regulations against any athlete until the contested regulations are upheld. In exchange, they have agreed not to prolong the process. All athletes need this situation resolved as soon as possible.”