Tag Archives: Court of Arbitration for Sport

Natalya Antyukh stripped off the Olympic 400m hurdles title

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has banned Natalya Antyukh of Russia for the use of a Prohibited Substance/Method which is a breach of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

The 41 year-old was stripped of her 2012 Olympic silver medal in the 4×400 relay by the IOC in 2017 because the Russian team was disqualified after doping was found in the samples of runner Antonina Krivoshapka.

In April 2021, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) disqualified Antyukh for four years for anti-doping rule violations. The period of the athlete’s suspension is counted from April 7, 2021. The results has been disqualified from June 30, 2013.

Last year, Antyukh was banned four years in a doping case related to evidence from the 2016 McLaren report on Russian doping. Her results from July 2013 through December 2015 were also stripped. She last competed in 2016, according to World Athletics. In the 2012 Olympic 400m hurdles final, Antyukh, then 31, lowered her personal best by 22 hundredths of a second to hold off Lashinda Demus by seven hundredths for the gold medal.

CJ Ujah cleared of taking banned drugs

CJ Ujah, whose failed doping test cost Team GB Olympic relay sprint team silver, has been cleared of deliberately taking banned drugs.

As a result of the new ruling, the Athletics Integrity Unit and the World Anti-Doping Agency will allow him to return to competition next year.

Ujah, who initially faced a potential four-year ban from the sport, had consistently insisted he did not knowingly take ostarine and S-23, adding it “is something I will regret for the rest of my life”.

However, the British men’s sprint relay quartet’s career-defining performances in the 4x100m Tokyo final last year remains deleted from the history books.

Ujah had run the opening leg but then tested positive for two prohibited substances, ostarine and S-23.

The AIU has now confirmed, however, that Ujah is now serving a reduced term of 22 months, which means he can return to racing next June.

“The AIU and Wada were satisfied that the sprinter’s anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was not intentional as a result of his ingestion of a contaminated supplement and the applicable two-year period of ineligibility was reduced by two months on account of how promptly he admitted the violation,” a statement from the AIU says.

Brett Clothier, head of the AIU, added: “In this case, after a thorough examination of the facts, we were satisfied that Mr Ujah did indeed ingest a contaminated supplement, but he was unable to demonstrate that he was entitled to any reduction in the applicable period of ineligibility based on his level of fault. “Taking supplements is risky for athletes as they can be contaminated or even adulterated with prohibited substances. Athletes owe it to their fellow competitors to be 100 per cent certain before putting anything into their body.

If there’s the slightest doubt, leave it out.” It remains to be seen how his relay team-mates Richard Kilty, Zharnel Hughes and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake will take the news, having been all been stripped of medals over the furore.

Kilty has previously said he felt “let down” by his team-mate, adding how the team “heard nothing from” Ujah for six or seven weeks and they “didn’t have a clue” when the positive test was first disclosed after the Games. “Then we had a Zoom call maybe six weeks ago, and he just said to us that he thinks it was in a supplement,” Kilty added. “The supplements he was taking were not Informed Sport, which is not following the rules. As a team-mate I feel let down. For the last 20 years of my career – the same as the other two lads – we have worked our asses off. We have followed the rules, in and out.”

The British relay team automatically forfeited their medals in February, after Ujah did not challenge his adverse analytical finding at a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing.

Ujah previously said: “I would like to make it clear that I unknowingly consumed a contaminated supplement and this was the reason why an anti-doping rule violation occurred at the Tokyo Olympic Games.


Source: telegraph.co.uk

Caster Semenya: ‘I am the greatest that has ever done it’

Let’s start at the finish, with the last question I put to Caster Semenya: When the time comes for the two-time Olympic 800m champion to hang up her spikes, how does she think the world will remember her career?

“I am the greatest that has ever done it,” she says. “That’s what I’ll be remembered for: being great, my talents. I feel unapologetic (about them) and I want people to remember the greatness.”

The 31-year-old South African is the headline star at Tuesday’s BAM Cork City Sports, where she will race over 3000m. It’s Semenya’s first visit to Ireland, and after she laughs about the “European weather” she admits “everything is good” since her arrival last Friday.

Her goal on Tuesday is simple, and relatively modest: to run under 8:50, a time that would rank her outside the top 50 on the women’s top lists for 2022 – strange territory for an athlete who was for so long indomitable.

But these days things are different. Semenya has been unable to compete at distances between 400m and the mile since 2019, when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in favour of her sport’s governing body, the IAAF (now World Athletics), that athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) had to reduce their testosterone below five nmol/L to compete in the women’s category.

In 2020 Semenya appealed the decision to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which upheld the ruling, saying the regulations were “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to ensure fair competition in women’s sport.

Individuals with 46 XY DSD are usually born with internal testes that cause their natural testosterone to sit in the male range of 7.7-29.4nmol/L, well above the typical female range of 0.12-1.79nmol/L. Semenya has since opted not to lower her testosterone by taking medication, which she said caused her to feel sick, gain weight and suffer panic attacks following a similar ruling on athletes with hyperandrogenism back in 2011.

While the regulations could eventually extend to other events, right now they apply only to track events where the link between testosterone and performance is most pronounced, leaving athletes with DSDs free to compete below 400m or above the mile.

Semenya switched to 200m in 2020 in a bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics but after clocking a best of 23.49, well outside the qualifying standard, she moved up to 5000m. She ran a personal best of 15:31.50 at the South African Championships in April, shy of what was needed to make this month’s World Championships, but missing that is “not really a problem” – her chief goal remains the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“The transition has not been easy, I’m a power athlete,” she says. “I’m a tall figure, I’m more muscular so I have to work on being very lean. Now it’s a matter of mastering how to run distance, and it’s coming. Rome was not built in a day.”

These days, Semenya covers 130km a week in training with a long run of 30km. “It was not easy the first year but now I’m getting used to it and I started enjoying distance more than speed.”

She’s coached by her wife, Violet, and they have two daughters, with their youngest celebrating her first birthday on Tuesday.

“This race is dedicated to her,” she says. Her eldest daughter, Oratile, will turn three in a few days. How has life changed for Semenya since she became a mother?

“It makes you a better person, you see life in a different way. Before it was all about myself but now I live for my family. There’s no difference on the track but when I walk off it, I’m a parent and I have to live based on my kids.”

Will her experience in recent years inform her approach as a parent?

“Yeah,” she says. “The main goal for me is to teach them to understand their rights – how to fight for themselves, how to live for themselves, not for any other people.”

Semenya continues to fight her cause. Early last year, following the federal court ruling, she took a case against Switzerland at the European Court of Human Rights, which has yet to be heard.

“It’s not about winning, I don’t really care about the outcome,” she says. “It’s about raising awareness about what’s happening with the authorities, how selfish they are, their motives. My optimal goal is just to expose those errors and then fight for justice – always.

“People need to realise that when you’re here for athletes, you better mean it. If you’re a leader and you say sport is for all, you should act like that.”

In recent weeks, swimming’s world governing body barred transgender women from elite female competitions if they had experienced any part of male puberty, and several other sports are likely to follow suit. While it’s obviously a very different issue to DSD athletes, there are some similarities, which triggers the question: what did Semenya make of that ruling?

“I really don’t have an answer because I don’t know,” she says. “As I’m not transgender, I don’t know how they’re feeling. It’s very complex and a complicated question so, for me, I wouldn’t answer for something I have no experience about.”

An athlete Semenya does feel a strong kinship with is her old rival Francine Niyonsaba, the Burundian who won silver behind her at the Rio Olympics and who moved up in distance following introduction of the DSD regulations. Niyonsaba is currently the quickest woman in the world over 3000m this year.

“We’re very good friends and, yeah, it’d be great if we could have that rivalry again at 5K,” says Semenya. “She always wants what’s best for me, I always want what’s best for her. We encourage each other.”

I ask Semenya about her daughters, and whether they might grow up to be runners. “I hope they do tennis, not running,” she says. “Running can be hard. You don’t want your kids to go through what you went through.”

Despite all she’s dealt with, Semenya remains a fan of the sport. She and her wife coach a running group in South Africa and despite not competing at the Tokyo Olympics last year, she followed the action from afar, saying it was “exceptionally good.”

Semenya still wants to be at the Paris Games in 2024, even if it’s not at her favoured distance.

“The goal was to run the 800 until I’m 35, but unfortunately I had to stop before time,” she says. “But the dreams never change. As an Olympian, you always want to be the greatest. At the moment it’s all about enjoying what I do. Being able to run, it’s a blessing.”

Source: irishexaminer.com

Alex Wilson banned four years for doping

Swiss sprinter Alex Wilson was banned for four years on Tuesday after an anti-doping tribunal judged he intentionally used an anabolic steroid.

The case flared at the Tokyo Olympics last July when Court of Arbitration for Sport judges reinstated Wilsons provisional suspension days before he was due to compete in the mens 100 and 200 meters.

Wilson, the 200 bronze medalist at the 2018 European Championships, tested positive for the steroid trenbolone in an out-of-competition sample taken in March 2021.

He was allowed to continue competing ahead of the Tokyo Games after blaming contaminated meat he ate in Las Vegas, the Swiss Olympic committee said in announcing the latest ruling of its tribunal.

Wilson’s provisional ban during a disciplinary investigation was reinstated in Tokyo after the World Anti-Doping Agency and World Athletics intervened with CAS.

The Swiss Olympic tribunal now ruled the 31-year-old Wilson intended to use doping and imposed a ban that runs into April 2025. He can appeal against the verdict at CAS.

Source: espn.com

Caster Semenya slams African athletics leaders

Two-time Olympic and three-time world champion Caster Semenya has branded leaders in African athletics “cowards” for failing to stand up and fight for female athletes who are facing eligibility issues.

The 31-year-old is barred from competing in her preferred 800m race by World Athletics’ differences of sexual development (DSD) rules introduced in 2019.

Athletes with high testosterone are required to medically lower their levels in order to compete in events between 400m and 1500m.

“I think that, in this day, we have coward leaders,” Semenya said.

“In this continent, people are quiet. I don’t know why they’re quiet. They’re not fighting for their own athletes.

“You have got to show up and work, fight for your athletes, and then African athletics will be great. At this moment it’s disappointing.”

When asked by BBC Sport Africa about Semenya’s comments and whether African athletics leadership has done enough for its athletes, Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) president Malboum Kalkaba said: “Sorry, I do not have an answer”.

Similar cases across continent

Several other African athletes have been affected by the DSD rules, including Burundi’s Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and her fellow 800m runner Margaret Wambui of Kenya.

Last year, two Namibian teenagers, Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, were forced to step down from the 400m weeks before the Tokyo Olympics after they were informed of their elevated testosterone levels.

Both Mboma and Masilingi ended up competing in the 200m in Japan, with Mboma winning historic Olympic silver for her country.

However, Semenya, who now competes over 5000m, has questioned African leadership’s handling of the teenagers’ situation as well as its relative “silence” on the DSD matter in general.

“When I was 18, I couldn’t speak up,” the South African said. “Now I’m mature enough, I can speak.

“Imagine what was going on through those kids’ minds. They can’t do anything, but the leaders are just sitting out there enjoying the privileges, being in the boardrooms.”

CAA director general Lamine Faty said Semenya “has the right to express her sentiments” and that concerns over DSD rules were raised by the organisation a “long time ago” and were discussed again recently at a CAA council meeting in Mauritius.

A debate about eligibility in women’s sports has been heating up, with the recent focus being on the status of transgender athletes.

Last week, World Athletics president Seb Coe hinted his organisation could follow swimming in banning transgender women from elite female competitions, insisting “fairness is non-negotiable”.

“We continue to study, research and contribute to the growing body of evidence that testosterone is a key determinant in performance, and have scheduled a discussion on our regulations with our council at the end of the year,” he told BBC Sport.

‘We are never going to stop fighting’

Champion over 800m at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, Semenya has previously challenged World Athletics’ rules but lost her case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2019.

She then lost an appeal and was defeated at Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court a year later, before going to the European Court of Human Rights where her case has yet to be heard.

“We are never going to stop fighting,” she said.

“At the moment it is not about me, it’s about the young kids that are coming up now that are going to face the same problem.

“There are a lot of kids that want to compete in 400m, in 800m and in 1500m, but they cannot be included.

“They say sport is for all, but at the moment it’s not for all.”

I was told to show my vagina to track officials- Caster Semenya (VIDEO)

Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya, burst on to the scene in 2009 when she won the women’s 800m world title by a stunning margin, shortly after the track officials from world governing body said she would undergo gender verification tests.

The 31 year-old offered to show her vagina to track officials when she was just 18 years old to prove she was a female.

Caster Semenya offered to show track officials her body

Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya said she offered to show her vagina to track officials when she was just 18 years old to prove she was a female.

She also accused the world athletics body of making her take medication that “tortured” her and made her fear that she was going to have a heart attack, according to a report on Monday in British newspaper The Telegraph.

The Telegraph published what it said were parts of an interview the South African runner did with HBO Real Sports. The full HBO interview is due to air in the United States on Tuesday.

In the interview, the Telegraph said Semenya reflected on the 2009 world championships in Berlin, where she won the 800-meter world title in dominant fashion as an 18-year-old newcomer at her first major athletics meet.

But her performance and muscular physique led the world track body to order the teenager to undergo sex tests, causing a firestorm of controversy. According to the Telegraph, Semenya said track officials from the governing body “probably” thought she had a penis. “I told them, ‘It’s fine. I’m a female, I don’t care. If you want to see I’m a woman, I will show you my vagina. Alright?’” Semenya said in the interview with HBO Real Sports, according to the Telegraph.

Following her world title win, Semenya was forced by the world track body to take medication that artificially lowered her naturally high testosterone if she wanted to compete against other female runners. Although the world track body has never released details of Semenya’s specific medication, it’s believed she took birth control pills or something with similar properties to lower her testosterone.

“It made me sick, made me gain weight, panic attacks, I don’t know if I was ever going to have a heart attack,” Semenya said of the medication. “It’s like stabbing yourself with a knife every day. But I had no choice. “I’m 18, I want to run, I want to make it to (the) Olympics, that’s the only option for me. But I had to make it work.”

Forcing athletes to take medication to alter natural hormone levels in order to compete in sports has been criticized by medical experts as being clearly unethical. It’s also never been revealed what dosage of medication Semenya had to take to lower her testosterone to a level set as acceptable by track chiefs to allow her to run.

The Telegraph reported that World Athletics lawyer Jonathan Taylor also spoke to HBO Real Sports and defended the medication, which wasn’t named, by saying leading experts said they would prescribe it for female athletes with high testosterone. Semenya also responded to that. “Jonathan must cut his tongue and throw it away,” the Telegraph quoted Semenya as saying.

“If he wants to understand how that thing has tortured me, he must go and take those medications. He will understand.” The 2009 world championships was the start of Semenya’s 13-year battle against track authorities to be able to compete against female athletes.

Now 31, Semenya is banned from competing in distances from 400 to the mile at top-level track meets in updated testosterone regulations unless she agrees to again take medication to lower her testosterone. She has refused, and hasn’t run an 800-meter race at a major meet since 2019. The regulations prevented Semenya from defending her Olympic title last year in Tokyo.

Semenya has one of a number of conditions referred to as differences of sex development, or DSDs. It results in a testosterone level that is higher than the typical female range and which World Athletics says gives her an unfair advantage against other female athletes.

She has challenged the testosterone regulations twice in court, losing appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Swiss Federal Tribunal. She has launched a third appeal against them and is waiting for a hearing date to be set at the European Court of Human Rights.

Semenya has rarely spoken in detail about her experiences with the world track body, which was previously known as the IAAF and rebranded to World Athletics. However, details of the sometimes bitter battle came to light in 2019 when court documents from Semenya’s first legal challenge revealed the track body categorized her as “biologically male.” Semenya said she was outraged at a sports body “telling me that I am not a woman.” Semenya was identified as female at birth and has identified as female her whole life.

Yet some experts say that her elevated natural testosterone gives her a clear advantage against other women. Before she was banned from running in the 800 in 2019, Semenya went more than 30 races unbeaten.

Joyce Chepkirui banned for four years for doping

Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has banned long-distance runner Joyce Chepkirui from Kenya for four years in a case concerning her Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) which is a violation of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

The 33-year-old had been provisionally suspended since June 2019, after an expert panel studied anomalies in her blood samples collected by AIU between 2016 and 2017.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the appeal filed by the Athletics Integrity Unit, and her four-year period of ineligibility has been back-dated to start from 28 June 2019.

Her results from April 6, 2016 and August 4, 2017 that include her bronze medal at the Boston Marathon in April 2016 has been revoked.

Chepkirui is the 2014 Commonwealth Games 10,000m champions and also the 2014 African 10000m champion.

Chepkirui star stated shinning at the 2012 Discovery Kenya Cross Country meet and then winning the  National title at the Kenyan Cross Country Championships, before going on to win the gold medal and team title at the 2012 African Cross Country Championships in Cape Town, South Africa

She also won the  2015 Amsterdam Marathon title before placing third at the Boston Marathon and fourth at the New York City Marathon in 2016.

Kenya is still placed under category A and is ranked alongside Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine. It remains one of the countries AIU considers as having the highest risk level for doping or ADRVs and not just the risk of having more doping cases.

Caster Semenya slams World Athletics

Double Olympic women’s 800m champion, Caster Semenya has slammed the World Athletics (WA) in a scathing post on her social media page.

Semenya is not allowed to compete across a number of distances due to the World Athletics regulations for athletes with Differences of Sexual Development (DSD).

The 31 year-old is prohibited from competing in distances from 400m to mile, but can race across 100m, 200m and any event further than 1600m.

Through her social media handle, twitter, she claimed that there was a lack of logic in the regulations.

“So according to World Athletics and its members, I’m a male when it comes to 400m, 800m, 1500m and 1600m,” she wrote.

“Then a female in 100m, 200m, and long distance events. What a research. What kind of a fool would do that?”

The World Athletics regulations, implemented in 2018, prohibit athletes with DSD from competing between 400m and a mile unless they take hormone-reducing drugs.

After unsuccessful appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court, the South African super star is waiting for the hearing at the European Court of Human Rights.

Last week she ran her fastest ever women’s 3000m race at the Athletics South Africa Grand Prix, clocking a lifetime best of 8:54.97 over the distance.

In November WA confirmed that it would not be changing its regulations, even after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued a new framework for transgender and DSD athletes.

Semenya missed out on her target of 15:10.00 which meant she didn’t qualify for the Olympics after finishing in fourth place in a 5000m meet in Belgium in a time of 15:50.12 in June 2021.

Caster Semenya to open 2022 season with a 3000m Race

Double Olympic women’s 800m champion will return to competitive racing for the first time since June 30, 2021 when she failed to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

Caster Semenya returns to competitive distance running on Wednesday (23 March), nearly 10 months after failing to achieve the qualifying mark for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

The two-time 800m Olympic champion, who scaled up to the longer distances due to the World Athletics’ testosterone rules, will line-up in the women’s 3000m at the second meeting of the Athletics South Africa Grand Prix, at Greenpoint Athletics Stadium in Cape Town.

The South African will be up against local stars, led by former national 5000m champion and two-time world cross country finalist Kesa Molotsane, plus her training partner Glenrose Xaba, a seasoned long-distance runner.

Semenya hasn’t raced competitively since 30 June 2021, when she finished in fourth place in a 5000m meet in Belgium in 15:50.12, missing out on her targeted 15:10.00 which meant she didn’t qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021.

The South African 5000m national champion, who raced to her personal best of 15:32.15 in May 2021 has since spent most of her time off the track coaching athletes at the Masai Athletics Club which operates with her wife Violet, in Pretoria and Soweto.

Semenya’s background

In May 2019, a World Athletics eligibility ruling came into effect which prevents female athletes with Differences in Sexual Development (DSD) from competing in women’s events from 400m to one mile (1600m), unless they reduce their testosterone levels.

The 31-year-old Semenya vowed following that ruling that she would not take any testosterone suppressing medication, terming the rules discriminatory and unfair.

The runner challenged the World Athletics rules and lost the cases at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2019 and at the Swiss Federal Supreme court in 2020. She then moved a third lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights in February 2021.

The triple 800m world champion shifted her focus on the 5000m, having originally decided to go for the 200m in March 2020.

Semenya won the women’s 800m titles at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics.

Source: olympics.com