04/09/2019 - Global expert witnesses announced for controversial athletics (IAAF) testosterone ruling appeal

Durban - CASTER Semenya was quick out of the blocks to react after the IAAF, on Monday, released names of expert witnesses the world's governing body for athletics planned to use against her in a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) matter.

South Africa's runner Caster Semenya is the current 800-meter Olympic gold medalist and world champion. Semenya has filed an appeal in the CAS against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruling, forcing female runners to medicate to reduce their testosterone levels for six months before racing internationally.

Semenya, who is challenging the IAAF rules that would compel her to lower testosterone levels, responded with a statement from her legal team which revealed the experts in her corner for the CAS matter.

The IAAF has agreed to stall the implementation of its controversial Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification, which relates to athletes with differences of sex development (DSD), until next month, after publicising it in April 2018.

The arbitration proceedings that will happen at the CAS in Lausanne, Switzerland, is subject to strict confidentiality provisions.

Semenya believes that IAAF had acted improperly and was in breach of confidentiality provisions already agreed to, by releasing its statement on Monday.

About her legal bid, Semenya said she and other women affected by the regulations should be permitted to compete in the female category without discrimination, and celebrated for their natural talents as are all other athletes with genetic variations.

"The IAAF's regulations do not empower anyone. Rather, they represent yet another flawed and hurtful attempt to police the sex of female athletes," she said in a statement released by her legal team.

Her team independent experts covering a diverse range of expertise will provide evidence in support of her case, includes:

Professor Veronica Gomez-Lobo is a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University and the Director of the DSD Clinic at the Children's National Health System in Washington, DC. She is a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist with specialized experience in DSD.

Dr Alun Williams is the director of the Sports Genomics Laboratory at Manchester Metropolitan University. He specialises in genetic differences that impact athletic performance and has published numerous academic papers on the topic, including original research data.

Professor Eric Vilain is a geneticist specialising in gender-based and endocrine genetics, including DSD. He has spent almost a decade analyzing whether female athletes with DSD should be subject to regulation, including in consultation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and as part of working groups including IAAF representatives.

Professor Roger Pielke Jr is the director of the Sports Governance Center at the University of Colorado. He holds degrees in mathematics, public policy and political science. With over 25 years of experience in the field of science and technology policy, with a particular emphasis on sport governance, he is considered a world leading expert in this area.

Professor Dankmar Bohning is the chair in Medical Statistics at the University of Southampton. He holds a PhD in mathematics and is an expert in statistics, with a specialty in statistical analysis of medical data. His experience in sport data analysis includes the Growth Hormone 2004 Project.

Professor Richard Holt is a professor of Diabetes and Endocrinology at the University of Southampton and a specialist doctor at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. He has a particular specialty in sports-related endocrinology research, including extensive research in the area of growth hormone.

Professor Anthony Hackney is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with joint appointments in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science and the Department of Nutrition School of Public Health. He holds a PhD in Exercise Physiology and a DSc in Sports Science Physiology, and has over 30 years of experience conducting scientific research on endocrinology and exercise training.

Dr Lih-Mei Liao is a licensed clinical psychologist and health psychologist in the UK. She has worked extensively with women diagnosed with a range of DSD conditions. Her research has helped highlight the negative impact of controversial medical interventions to alter women's healthy bodies.

Dr Payoshni Mitra is a scholar and advocate with a decade of experience working closely with athletes with hyperandrogenism and/or DSD from the Global South. Her work focuses on the mental and physical harm caused by the regulation and testing of such
athletes. She teaches Sport Sociology at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Ashley LaBrie is the executive director of AthletesCAN, an independent not-for-profit organisation that represents the interests of all national team athletes in Canada.