CAPE TOWN, May 1 (Reuters) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed an appeal by South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya against regulations that restrict testosterone levels in female athletes.
Here is some reaction to Wednesday's decision:
CASTER SEMENYA IN STATEMENT VIA HER LAWYERS:
"I know that the IAAF's regulations have always targeted me specifically. For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world."
"The IAAF ... is pleased that the regulations were found to be a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF's legitimate aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the restricted events."
AUSTRALIAN FORMER MIDDLE-DISTANCE RUNNER MADELEINE PAPE WRITING IN THE GUARDIAN
"The IAAF finds itself at a crossroads. Given that CAS has ruled in its favour, it could simply breathe a sigh of relief and forge doggedly ahead with a regulatory approach that has plunged the sport into a quandary and which ... has consistently proved scientifically and ethically indefensible.
"This will prove to be the losing side of history: the pressures on the sport to change have intensified in recent years, and will surely not relent with this decision."
SVEIN ARNE HANSEN, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN ATHLETICS ASSOCIATION
"I welcome the decision taken by CAS today which ensures governing bodies can continue to protect the female category. This was never about individuals, it's about the principle of fair play and a level playing field for women and girls."
PAULA RADCLIFFE, BRITISH FORMER LONG DISTANCE RUNNER
"I understand how hard a decision this was for CAS and respect them for ruling that women's sport needs rules to protect it."
ROGER PIELKE JR, DIRECTOR OF THE SPORTS GOVERNANCE CENTER AT UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AND A WITNESS IN SUPPORT OF SEMENYA AT THE CAS HEARING.
"We argued the IAAF research should be retracted and the regulations should be put on hold until more rigorous research was done by independent researchers. The scientific issues that we identified have not been contested by IAAF - indeed, many of the issues that we identified have been acknowledged by IAAF.
"The fact that a majority of the CAS panel voted to uphold the regulations indicates that these issues of scientific integrity were not considered to be critical in its decision.
"CAS still considers the flawed IAAF research to be authoritative. This alone is stunning."
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA, WINNER OF 18 GRAND SLAM TENNIS TOURNAMENTS
"The verdict against Semenya is dreadfully unfair to her and wrong in principle. She has done nothing wrong and it is awful that she will now have to take drugs to be able to compete. General rules should not be made from exceptional cases and the question of transgender athletes remains unresolved."
DEBORAH ANTOINE, CEO OF THE WOMEN'S SPORTS FOUNDATION
"Today's CAS ruling is deeply disappointing, discriminatory and contradictory to their 2015 ruling. We will continue to speak out and demand change to this discriminatory policy."
SOUTH AFRICAN SPORTS MINISTER TOKOZILE XASA
"Naturally we are disappointed with the judgement. We will study the judgement‚ consider it and determine a way forward. As the South African government we have always maintained that these regulations trample on the human rights and dignity of Caster Semenya and other women athletes."
JOHN BREWER, PROFESSOR OF APPLIED SPORTS SCIENCE AT BUCKINGHAMSHIRE NEW UNIVERSITY
"Without this ruling we would have been in a position where females with normal levels of testosterone would be at a performance disadvantage compared with those who have higher levels of testosterone.
"Overall, what this ruling means is that there is a greater chance of a level playing field on which all female athletes can compete."
IEUAN HUGHES, PROFESSOR OF PAEDIATRICS AT CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY
"Reducing the level of testosterone in the XY DSD athlete ahead of competing is a reasonable and pragmatic approach to achieve a level playing field. The medicines used work, are devoid of complications and the effects are reversible."
KATRINA KARKAZIS, AUTHOR OF TESTOSTERONE: AN UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY
"I have spent eight years enmeshed in research on this issue as well as on T (testosterone) and athleticism, and I do not see a basis for this decision. Bravo to Caster and everyone for a courageous fight against a discriminatory regulation. More work to do."
RAY FLYNN, IRISH FORMER OLYMPIC MIDDLE DISTANCE RUNNER, WHO WORKS AS AN ATHLETE AGENT
"This is correct and sport trying to keep a level playing field for women and not personal to this athlete, who appealed their decision."
"The Court of Arbitration for Sport has ignored international human rights law and upheld discrimination in dismissing Caster Semenya's case today."
JENNIFER MCGOWAN, HEALTH PSYCHOLOGIST AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
"It seems to me to be a slippery slope in terms of banning what is or what is not a genetic advantage. After all, people don't get told they are too tall to play basketball, or their hands are too large to throw a hammer.
"The reason people become top athletes is that they train extremely hard, but also that they have a genetic advantage. So to say that this particular one is important and the others are not seems to me to be a little strange."
TIM HUTCHINGS, TV PUNDIT AND FORMER MIDDLE AND LONG DISTANCE RUNNER
"Common sense wins. Hugely emotive subject - but thank god for saving the future of FAIR women's sport."
LETLHOGONOLO MOKGOROANE, POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND ADVOCACY FELLOW AT SOUTH AFRICAN NGO SONKE GENDER JUSTICE
"Essentially it's reverse doping and it's disgusting. The decision will have far-reaching implications, not just on Caster Semenya, but it will also apply to transgender and intersex people. But I'm not surprised the IAAF's rules have been used to target women from the global south."
(Reporting By Nick Said; Additional reporting by Kate Kelland and Gene Cherry; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Janet Lawrence)
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