The South African runner shot to fame in 2009 when she won the world 800m title. Critics later started raising questions about her sex, which made her spend 11 months on the sidelines when the IAAF conducted a gender verification process. She has had to stand up to the IAAF which is pursuing a case that will require athletes to regulate the amount of natural testosterone.
“Semenya identifies as a woman, but has testosterone levels higher than the typical female. Her success has brought controversy in elite sport, with many arguing that her biological traits give her an unfair advantage in women’s competition,” said Edwin Moses, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field who wrote her profile.
“But Semenya is fighting that. Sport eligibility, she and others say, should not be based on hormone levels or other differences of sex development. If successful, Semenya’s effort could open the door for all who identify as women to compete in track events without having to first medically lower their testosterone levels below a proposed limit.”