Caster Semenya's domination of the female middle-distance track is under threat — the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is reportedly set to release controversial rule changes for athletes with hyperandrogenism on Thursday.
BIG news coming on Thurs from IAAF. They will rule that Caster Semenya must take testosterone-lowering tablets or switch to 5000m. The rule for testosterone levels will apply from 400m to a mile— Gary Lemke (@GaryLemke) April 25, 2018
Hyperandrogenism is a medical condition characterised by excessive levels of androgens ("male" sex hormones such as testosterone) in the female body.
According to multiple reports by The Star, IOL Sports and the Mail & Guardian, the IAAF approved a proposal in March to limit naturally produced testosterone for female competitors running the 400, 800 and 1,500 metres.
The rule will force Semenya either to take testosterone-lowering medication to reduce her naturally occurring testosterone levels, or switch to longer-distance events.
If she refuses to take testosterone-lowering medication, she will have to run longer distances — such as the 5,000m and 10,000m.
This ruling comes after Semenya's stellar campaign at the 2018 Commonwealth Games — she broke two records in one race, taking gold in the Women's 800m in a time of 1:56.68 — a Commonwealth Games record. The win also made her the first female athlete to win back-to-back golds in both the 1,500m and 800m.
The two-time Olympic champion will have tough decisions to make, if the reported IAAF ruling is passed.