Irked Sports Minister Xasa labels IAAF new rules the ‘Caster Semenya regulations’

Sport Minister Tokozile Xasa has come out in full support of Caster Semenya.
Sport Minister Tokozile Xasa has come out in full support of Caster Semenya.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

Irked Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa has labeled the move by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to introduce new eligibility regulations for females with Differences of Sexual Development (DSD) as the ‘Caster Semenya Regulations’.

In a strongly worded statement released on Thursday‚ Xasa said she was dismayed by IAAF’s decision and she viewed it is a continued attack on the persona of the South African golden girl.

“I call upon all South Africans to stand firm in opposing these ‘Caster Semenya Regulations’ as they are designed to disadvantage Caster in her career‚" Xasa.

"South Africans and all progressive people of the world must unite and support Caster and all affected athletes in this regard.”

Xasa added that the ministry would continue to engage with relevant bodies and utilise all available avenues to ensure that Semenya and other athletes likely to be affected by the regulations are allowed to participate unhindered by measures intended to reduce their competitive edge.

“Caster is not just an athlete to people of South Africa‚ she represents their hopes and aspirations‚" Xasa said.

"She is a pathfinder to the rural poor and downtrodden.

"She is an affirmation of black excellence.

"She undermines a stereotype that nothing good will ever come from the rural villages.”

Athletics South Africa (ASA) officials said they would seek expert support from relevant organisations and individuals to have a better understanding of this matter.

“Athletics South Africa has taken note of the new classification for female‚" the ASA statement said.

"We want to acknowledge that this process started long ago‚ up to a point that Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was involved and ruled and gave guidance on what should be followed by the IAAF.

"ASA further acknowledges that the IAAF Council has the authority to develop rules and regulations as the highest decision-making body between congresses past and future.”

ASA continued that they would study the new regulations and compare them with the CAS recommendations to see if they are compatible and in line.

“Once done‚ we will then inter-act with the IAAF‚" ASA continued.

"We want to state very clearly that we support all our athletes who may be affected by this new ruling.

"Athletics South Africa refers all future requests for comment on this matter to the IAAF‚ who issued the statement on the new regulations.”

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