Presiding Officers of Parliament condemn IAAF targeted discriminatory regulations against Caster
29 April 2018
The Presiding Officers of Parliament, Speaker Baleka Mbete of the National Assembly and Chairperson Thandi Modise of the National Council of Provinces, have condemned the discriminatory regulations passed by the world athletics body designed to stifle Caster Semenya’s reign as champion in the middle distance races.
Speaker Mbete and Chairperson Modise have called the targeted introduction of the regulations as unjust, sexist, dehumanizing and should be condemned by all human rights proponents in the world. Physiques of African women have and continue to suffer unjustified and racially humiliating scrutiny and mockery. This must stop.
Parliament strongly believes that the latest IAAF’s regulations to prescribe a maximum of five-nanomoles of testosterone per litre of blood and a hormonal treatment of women athletes with higher measurements, particularly in categories where Caster Semenya currently reigns as a champion for nearly a decade, are blatant efforts to eliminate her.
Such an act should be rejected with the contempt it deserves as it threatens, not just Caster’s career, but the sacrosanct principles of fairness, justice and equality in global sports. The act also threatens the entire generation of young girls from rural and disadvantaged backgrounds who are inspired by her to break the proverbial glass ceilings in their careers of choice. The IAAF's conduct is a danger to the future of next generations of particularly African sportswomen, who will he confronted with similar apartheid-type targeted regulations if their talent and hard work becomes a threat to their counterparts from the rest of the world.
The Presiding Officers are calling on sister Parliaments under international legislative bodies such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Inter-Parliamentary Union to take a stand and reject the IAAF's blatant old-fashioned prejudice, which has no scientific foundation. The international athletics body's actions are an open violation of human rights principles enunciated in the founding documents of the United Nations and, if not rejected, will continue systematically destroying individual athletes with impunity and bringing the entire global sports into disrepute.
Parliament will also work with government and sports bodies in efforts aimed at supporting Caster Semenya and fighting the IAAF regulations.
The Presiding Officers have commended Caster Semenya’s never-give-up spirit and resilience in the wake of sustained efforts to humiliate and demoralize her and destroy her career.
Issued by Parliament, 29 April 2018