Two-time Olympic champion middle-distance runner Caster Semenya claims to be a woman, despite being born without a uterus, adding that he “embraces” the “differences” he was born with.
“At the end of the day, I know I am different. I don’t care about the medical terms or what they tell me, or my testosterone, you know, being born without a uterus, being born with internal testicles — those don’t make me less of a woman,” Semenya said.
“Those are the differences I was born with and I embrace them,” Semenya added. “I am not going to be ashamed because I am different.”
The South African Olympian is classed as having “differences in sexual development (DSD)” and is legally considered female.
As reported by the Associated Press:
World Athletics accepts that Semenya was legally identified as female at birth but says she has one of several conditions that are known as differences in sex development, where she has the typical male XY chromosome pattern and a testosterone level that is up in the typical range for a male.
However, Semenya has refused to take medication to lower his testosterone levels, despite the regulations introduced by the governing body of the athletics world in 2018.
Consequently, the 32-year-old athlete has been prohibited from competing. However, in July, Semenya achieved victory in a protracted legal battle against the Swiss government at the international court based in Strasbourg.
On Monday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) agreed to rule on the case of Semenya. Meanwhile, Swiss authorities, with the support of World Athletics, announced that they intend to take the issue to the ECHR’s Grand Chamber, whose rulings are binding.
On Tuesday, Semenya told BBC that he is focused on “winning battles against the authorities” rather than competing, with next year’s Paris Olympics not in her plans.
“For me, I believe if you are a woman, you are a woman, no matter the differences you have,” the Olympian said.
“I have realized I want to live my life and fight for what I think and I believe in myself,” he added. “I know I am a woman and anything that comes along with it just accept it.”
Ironically, Semenya went on to say that “the importance of women’s sport is not being taken seriously and we need to take charge of our own bodies. Decide what is right for us. Not another gender deciding what we should look like.”
“If we are woman enough or not, it is up to us,” Semenya added.
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