Coe declines to say more publicly on Caster Semenya ruling

FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 file photo, Caster Semenya of South Africa crosses the finish line to win the women's 800 meters for Africa at the IAAF track and field Continental Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Officials of track and field’s world governing body - the IAAF - said before a news conference on Friday, May 10, 2019, in Japan that president Sebastian Coe would not comment further on the landmark legal case involving two-time Olympic gold-medal winner Semenya.(AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)

The head of the Coe declines to say more publicly on Caster Semenya ruling

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Officials of track and field's world governing body — the IAAF — said before a news conference on Friday in Japan that president Sebastian Coe would not comment further on the landmark legal case involving two-time Olympic gold-medal winner Caster Semenya.

Coe was asked one question about it, anyway, and said little.

"I don't think there is anything I am going to add to anything that we haven't already observed," Coe said, speaking at a news conference before Saturday and Sunday's IAAF World Relays in Yokohama.

Semenya is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 800 meters from South Africa who lost a landmark case last week that said female runners like her with unusually high levels of testosterone must take medication to reduce the levels if they want to compete in certain events.

"Most of the answers to those questions we get regularly asked, we've already posted to our website," Coe added. "So I think I will probably leave it to that today. This is really about the relays."

Semenya, who is not running at the meet in Japan, raced in Doha last week just days after the ruling. She won the 800 meters there and was asked if she would now take hormone-reducing medication.

"Hell no," she replied.

The IAAF argued in sports highest court — the Court of Arbitration for Sport — that high, naturally occurring levels of testosterone in athletes like Semenya with "intersex" characteristics that don't conform to standard definitions of male and female give them an unfair competitive advantage.

The court decision could open the way for similar rules in other women's sports where size, speed and power make a difference, such as weightlifting, boxing, swimming, rugby, field hockey and soccer.

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