Holzer, Lena. 2020. The Decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in the Caster Semenya Case: A Human Rights and Gender Analysis. OpinioJuris.
On 8 September 2020, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (SFC) published its decision in the appeal filed by Caster Semenya against the current testosterone rules enforced by World Athletics in certain women's athletic competitions. Based on these rules, the South African athlete was banned from competition because her naturally produced testosterone levels exceeded the threshold defined by World Athletics to allow her to compete in the women category. The appeal was filed on the basis that these rules are discriminatory against women athletes in general and in particular against women athletes with “certain physiological traits”.
The SFC rejected Caster Semenya's appeal and thereby upheld World Athletics' testosterone rules.
In this blog post Lena Holzer analyses why the judgement by the SFC is a disappointing decision from the perspective of human rights and gender justice, and how it reflects broader structural inequalities, gender biases and intersexphobia in international sports arbitration and in sports more broadly.
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