Why the Caster Semenya loss is yet another takedown of a black woman at the top of her game | GLAMOUR

I first remember watching Caster Semenya in 2009. The summer was stretching out ahead of me, and having just completed my first year in college, I emerged from my revision bubble ready to engage with the world again. Every hour, on the hour during that August, I listened on the radio to the news which told of a teenage athlete due to compete in the World Championships, who had endured invasive “gender verification tests” at the bidding of the International Association of Athletics Federations. The reason? To prove she was a woman.

If the investigation seemed sensational, the race was even more so. I tuned in, like millions of other viewers around the world, to watch a remarkably composed Semenya line up in lane four, seemingly oblivious to the roar of the crowds and the ferocious flashbulbs documenting every inch of her frame. In spite of the scrutiny, Semenya sprinted home to gold in the women’s 800 metres, setting the fastest time of the year with an astonishing speed of 1:55.45.

So when I received a notification on my phone informing me that Caster Semenya has lost her landmark legal case against the IAAF over her testosterone levels, I realised that it had been ten years since the initial investigation had thrown a young woman’s professional career, personal identity and fundamental humanity into question.

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