CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) have dismissed an appeal by South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya against the introduction of regulations to restrict testosterone levels in female athletes.
Here is some reaction to Wednesday's decision:
"I know that the IAAF's regulations have always targeted me specifically. For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world." -- Caster Semenya in a statement via her lawyers.
"The IAAF is grateful to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for its detailed and prompt response to the challenge made to its Eligibility Regulations for the Female Classification for athletes with differences of sex development, and is pleased that the Regulations were found to be a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF's legitimate aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events." -- IAAF statement.
"Clearly nobody wants to discriminate against any individual who wants to take part in sport, including the large number of females who have normal levels of testosterone for female athletes. But without this ruling we would have been in a position where females with normal levels of testosterone would be at a performance disadvantage compared with those who have higher levels of testosterone.
"Overall, what this ruling means is that there is a greater chance of a level playing field on which all female athletes can compete – and that has to be welcomed." -- John Brewer, professor of applied sports science at Buckinghamshire New University.
"The IAAF finds itself at a crossroads. Given that CAS has ruled in its favour, it could simply breathe a sigh of relief and forge doggedly ahead with a regulatory approach that has plunged the sport into a quandary and which... has consistently proved scientifically and ethically indefensible.
"This will prove to be the losing side of history: the pressures on the sport to change have intensified in recent years, and will surely not relent with this decision." -- Australian former middle-distance runner Madeleine Pape writing in The Guardian.
"I understand how hard a decision this was for CAS and respect them for ruling that women's sport needs rules to protect it." -- British former long distance runner Paula Radcliffe.
"The verdict against Semenya is dreadfully unfair to her and wrong in principle. She has done nothing wrong and it is awful that she will now have to take drugs to be able to compete. General rules should not be made from exceptional cases and the question of transgender athletes remains unresolved." -- Martina Navratilova, winner of 18 Grand Slam tennis tournaments.
"Essentially it's reverse doping and it's disgusting. The decision will have far-reaching implications, not just on Caster Semenya, but it will also apply to transgender and intersex people. But I'm not surprised the IAAF's rules have been used to target women from the global south." -- Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane, Policy Development and Advocacy Fellow at South African NGO Sonke Gender Justice.
"Naturally we are disappointed with the judgement. We will study the judgement‚ consider it and determine a way forward. As the South African government we have always maintained that these regulations trample on the human rights and dignity of Caster Semenya and other women athletes." -- South Africa sports minister Tokozile Xasa.
(Reporting By Nick Said; Additional reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Christian Radnedge)