Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya will run her last 800-metres today before the International Association of Athletics Federations imposes hugely controversial new rules limiting testosterone in female athletes.
Semenya, who has spent years trying to get the new IAAF regulations thrown out, will compete at the Diamond League meeting in Doha against 2016 Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba – who recently revealed she had similar difference in sexual development (DSD) characteristics to the South African.
Both must then begin taking medication to lower their testosterone levels if they wish to compete over that distance based on the new rules, which the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Wednesday were necessary to ensure fair competition.
IAAF president Sebastian Coe, speaking in Doha on Thursday, said he was grateful to CAS for the verdict.
“It is very straightforward for any association in sport,” Coe told a media briefing.
“Athletics has two classifications – it has age and it has gender. We are fiercely protective of both. We are really grateful that CAS has upheld that principle.”
Coe refused to take more questions, but the case is likely to have far-reaching consequences for women’s sport, and has split opinion around the globe.