IOC Chief Thomas Bach calls Semenya case ‘Complicated and Delicate’

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International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach, called the controversial gender case of South African runner Caster Semenya “extremely complicated and delicate” and said an expert panel will study its implications.

Last week two-time Olympic champion Semenya lost a court challenge against the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) over plans to force some women to regulate their testosterone levels.

The decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport means female athletes with elevated testosterone will have to take suppressive treatment if they wish to compete as women in certain events.

The IAAF argued that hyperandrogenic athletes or those with differences of sexual development (DSD) had an unfair advantage over others.

Bach told AFP in Brisbane that the IOC would create a group of experts from science, from ethics as well as athletes representatives and from international federations to examine the ruling.

It will include IOC medical director Richard Budgett and an IAAF official who will study this extremely complicated and delicate problem.

This is a case that should be taken up with the international federations, it’s their rules that are involved, their technical regulations, he said, adding that he had no idea when the group would reach any conclusions.

The World Medical Association has urged doctors not to enforce the controversial new rules for classifying female athletes, warning that attempts to do so would breach ethics codes.