Caster Semenya has expressed disappointment over a court ruling which means she will be prevented from defending her 800m title at the World Athletics Championships in Doha next month.
The Swiss Supreme Court has reversed a ruling that suspended a regulation imposed by the sport’s governing body, the IAAF, regarding testosterone levels pending Semenya’s appeal.
The ruling effectively means South Africa’s Semenya would be obliged to submit to hormone-reducing medication – something she has resolutely refused to consider – in order to continue to compete.
In a statement issued through her PR agency, Semenya said: “I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned.”
Semenya said in an interview with the BBC earlier this month that she felt she had been “crucified” in the course of her fight against the IAAF’s complex rules regarding ‘Athletes with Differences of Sex Development’.
Last month Semenya won an interim suspension of the rule in the Swiss court, but this has now been reversed due to the court’s finding that the “high threshold” for suspension were not fulfilled.
Over the years, Nike has earned plaudits for speaking out about social welfare issues and has actively worked to become the harbinger of inclusivity and diversity in sport.
This is exactly what their campaign ‘Dream Crazy’ is all about, celebrating people with big dreams in sport who were often dismissed for being too crazy.
With campaigns like these, Nike has been trying to break barriers and make sure no person is held back or looked down upon for pursuing the impossible.
The sporting giant took a significant leap when they announced the release of a performance Hijab (headcover) as a way to allow more Muslim women to participate in sport and finally put an end to the debate about the safety of this religious item of clothing.
The brand forever revolutionised sport for Muslim women and as the face of Nike hijab and Dream Crazier campaign, Manal Rostom says the brand has helped young Muslim girls become more comfortable with their identity.
“Big brands did not give us the space to be represented and did not inspire me as a young Arab girl, who was growing up as a third culture kid in a western environment, to fully understand my culture,” said Rostom.
“I think what they are doing now is normalizing various aspects of our culture and giving girls from different cultures role models to follow so they have someone to relate to and basically just dream crazy and I am so thankful to Nike for creating this platform.”
Nike has sponsored numerous athletes from all cultures and backgrounds, and helped them into bringing their dreams to fruition. Two such athletes are twin sisters, Amira and Aisha Zailani, who currently play for Dubai-based amateur football team Leoni FC.
“Nike has helped us in so many ways,” said 22-year-old Amira, “Not only do they provide us with equipment and tools to make it easier to train, but they also inspire us every day to continue to do what we love and follow our dreams.”
The Zailani sisters are grateful to Nike who have provided them with a platform to use their voice to show that sport should not be restricted to just one gender, insisting the ‘future is female’.
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It is an honor and a privilege to be be able to be part of something bigger than my mind can even comprehend. Thank you all for the support through the years, this is for all of us. 💯💪🏽 To all the the people that are working on this with me, let's just say I've been blessed ❤️❤️❤️ Get in the game at Nike.com/dxb #weplaydxb#nikewomen#mydubai
Caster Semenya marked her return to Diamond League action with victory in the 800 metres at the Prefontaine Classic.
The South African athlete, who had missed the previous two races as a result of the IAAF’s controversial female eligibility rules, led the field home at Stanford in 1.55.70, beating her own meeting record in the process.
She finished 0.66 seconds ahead of Ajee Wilson with Raevyn Rogers in third, both Americans recording season-best times.
Semenya was free to run after launching an appeal with the Swiss Federal Court against the IAAF’s differences of sex development regulations following defeat in her challenge at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Under the rules, the double Olympic and three-time World 800 metres champion would be forced to take medication to suppress her high level of testosterone.
Copy provided by Press Association Sport