CAPE TOWN-- South African Sports and Recreation Minister Tokozile Xasa says after engagements with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASOC) and Athletics South Africa, it has been agreed that steps will be taken to challenge the new regulations seen to be targeted at barring South African world and Olympicchampio Caster Semenya from participating in certain races.

Tabling her department's Budget Vote in Parliament here Tuesday, she said: As [the] Ministry and Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa, we have engaged SASCOC and Athletics South Africa (ASA) on the on-going matter relating on the new eligibility Regulations for Female Classification for events from the 400 metres and 1500 metres of the International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF).

We have agreed that SASCOC's Medical Commission should meet to evaluate the evidence that IAAF has relied upon. That ASA should assemble a legal team to act based on advice of experts to lodge an appeal with IAAF and should this not be heeded, to proceed with the matter at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland."

Xasa called on all South Africans to rally behind Semenya and commended law Professor Steve Cornelius for being a true South African by rejecting the unjust discriminatory, sexist and homophobic regulations designed to disadvantage Caster and any other upcoming African built athletes.

Professor Cornelius resigned from the IAAF's disciplinary tribune in protest at the new rules that would require some athletes, particularly Semenya, to undergo testosterone-reducing treatment before races or face a ban from the 400m and 1500m races respectively.

We will keep track on the developments and utilize all available avenues working in consultation with all relevant stakeholders to ensure a favourable outcome of all affected athletes. Women in sport is still minimal, lack support from relevant codes and with no sponsors, while doing so well, Xasa said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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