IAAF denies it wants Caster Semenya classified as a biological male
Last Updated: 13/02/19 11:05pm
The IAAF has rejected a report that it wants women's Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya to be classified as a biological male.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport is due to hear Semenya's landmark case next week, but the IAAF denied it was seeking to have any athlete with differences in sexual development (DSDs) classified as male, saying it "accepted their legal sex without question".
However, the governing body added it wants athletes such as Semenya, who was born with testes, to reduce their testosterone levels before they compete internationally.
In a statement, the IAAF said: "The IAAF is not classifying any DSD (Differences of Sexual Development) athlete as male. To the contrary, we accept their legal sex without question and permit them to compete in the female category.
"However if a DSD athlete has testes and male levels of testosterone, they get the same increases in bone and muscle size and strength and increases in haemoglobin that a male gets when they go through puberty, which is what gives men such a performance advantage over women.
"Therefore, to preserve fair competition in the female category, it is necessary to require DSD athletes to reduce their testosterone down to female levels before they compete at international level."
The IAAF has delayed the introduction of a testosterone limit for female athletes until after Semenya's appeal against the rule is heard.