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STATEMENT: Caster Semenya

An important statement from equitysport in response to the ruling by the Swiss Supreme Court regarding Caster Semenya earlier this week.



“Human rights are universal and inalienable, indivisible, and independent.”

— UNFPA


No sport has the power to decide what human rights can or should be overruled, over-riden or altered. We are all born and possess the same rights, regardless of where we come from, what our gender or race might be, what religion we follow, or our social, cultural or ethnic background.


In sport, any ruling that has a negative impact on a person’s enjoyment of their human rights or risks violating those same rights is illegitimate and wrong. The targeted, goalpost shifting marginalisation of Caster Semenya for over a decade in the sport of athletics will be remembered as a stain on the conscience of global sport.


To demand that any human being makes physical alterations to their body as a precondition to participating in sport is morally reprehensible and undermines the integrity and value of the guarantees made to all people through the Olympic Charter.


Sport is often conveniently binary, but as our world continues to evolve and grow, so too, must sport. It will face many challenges and be forced to answer many complex questions long before wider society. The very relevance, and longevity of sport will depend on its ability to include rather than exclude, to build bridges and facilitate complete inclusivity rather than to demand conformity to arbitrary definitions of yesterday’s stereotypes.


The value system that forms the foundation of all sport is a manifestation of our most optimistic idealism, but if we are to remain true to those values, we must not be content to see their gradual erosion. In this case, and many others that will face sport over the coming decades, we must apply the very best of our energies and skills. We must find better answers.

To Caster specifically - you are Mokgadi Caster Semenya. You are a woman and you are fast. We stand with you.

Notes to Editors


For interviews or further comment from equitysport please call +44 (0) 7869516106 or contact the team via campaigns@equitysport.org


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