Caster Semenya

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 05, 2018 South-Africa’s Caster Semenya celebrates with her national flag after winning the women’s 800m of the African Athletics Championships at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State in midwestern Nigeria. – The lawyer of South Africa’s Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, barred from certain races unless she takes hormone suppressants, has told AFP he is preparing to approach the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the ban. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Sports Department pledges R12 million for Caster Semenya’s appeal

The Department of Sport in South Africa has pledged R12 million to help Olympian Caster Semenya appeal her testosterone ruling.

Caster Semenya

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 05, 2018 South-Africa’s Caster Semenya celebrates with her national flag after winning the women’s 800m of the African Athletics Championships at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State in midwestern Nigeria. – The lawyer of South Africa’s Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, barred from certain races unless she takes hormone suppressants, has told AFP he is preparing to approach the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the ban. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The Department of Sport in South Africa has pledged R12 million to help Olympian Caster Semenya appeal her testosterone ruling.   

The confirmation comes on the back of Athletics South Africa’s request for the department to make financial resources available for Semenya to possibly return to her number one sport.

Semenya, 30, is restricted from taking part in events between 400m and a mile unless she takes testosterone-reducing drugs, according to a ruling made by World Athletics in 2019.    

She appealed the ruling twice but she lost on both occasions – first with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and second with the Swiss Supreme Court.

The Swiss Supreme Court initially suspended the ruling but it later reversed its decision, leaving Semenya stranded and unable to defend her 800m world championship title in Doha.

Now, according to Minister Nathi Mthethwa, the Sports Ministry has made available R12 million to support Semenya’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

According to TimesLIVE, Mthethwa was answering parliamentary questions on Thursday where he made the pledge to help fight the injustice against Semenya.

Furthermore, Mthethwa said the Department of International Relations and Co-operation has also shown interest in the Semenya matter after receiving a letter from the Commission for Gender Equality.

“The department has also been approached by the department of international relations and co-operation after they received a letter from the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), which expressed interest in the matter and requested support from the government to co-ordinate solidarity against World Athletics Female Athletes Classification Regulations,” Mthethwa said.

Mthethwa further revealed that the government is engaging Dirco to sponsor a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council, adding that Semenya is being targeted.    

“The hope that the appeal at the European Court of Human Rights may be successful is largely informed by this development and as a government renowned for the protection and promotion of human rights; we should take an interest in the matter, moreover because our own shining star, Ms Semenya, is being targeted,” added Mthethwa.

Semenya, who won Olympic gold in the 800m in 2012 and 2016, is still hopeful of taking part in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.