Limpopo-born Double Olympic champion runner Caster Semenya won her appeal against testosterone rules at the European Court of Human Rights [ECHR].

On Tuesday, the ECHR  ruled that Semenya was discriminated against and there were serious questions about the rule’s validity.

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The 32-year-old who is from Moletjie was born with differences of sexual development (DSD). She is not allowed to compete in events between 400m and a mile without taking testosterone-reducing drugs.

Semenya has been in a long-running dispute with governing body World Athletics. This is after regulations requiring her to take hormone treatment to decrease her natural testosterone levels were introduced in 2018.

Limpopo born athlete Caster Semenya wins appeal case against her discrimination
Caster Semenya

She argued that taking testosterone-reducing medication could be dangerous her health. She was also unable to defend her 800m title at the delayed Tokyo Olympics.


Semenya’s case at the rights court was against the government of Switzerland, and not World Athletics itself.

 “The Court found in particular that the applicant had not been afforded sufficient institutional and procedural safeguards in Switzerland to allow her to have her complaints examined effectively. Especially since her complaints concerned credible claims of discrimination as a result of her increased testosterone level caused by differences of sex development,” read the ruling by ECHR.

According to reports, the World Athletics, which enforces the regulations, said in reaction to the decision that its rules would remain in place. This could also mean there would not be an immediate return to compete for Semenya.