Sport

Semenya reveals her team of heavyweights for her fight with IAAF

2019-02-19 12:16

Caster Semenya’s legal team on Tuesday released a list of independent experts who are in her corner for the ongoing legal battle between the athlete and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Ths case, which is before the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, will see Semenya (28) opposing the proposed IAAF regulations that are aimed at lowering the testosterone levels of women athletes.

The release of the list of experts came after an eventful first day of the hearing at the sports tribunal body’s headquarters in Lausanne on Monday.

Semenya’s team had lashed out at the IAAF for breach of confidentiality rules of the hearing by making public the expert witnesses who would testify on behalf of the athletics governing body.

The reigning world and Olympic champion revealed a team that would argue that she and other women affected by the regulations should be permitted to compete in the female category without discrimination.

“The IAAF’s regulations do not empower anyone. Rather, they represent yet another flawed and hurtful attempt to police the sex of female athletes,” Semenya’s lawyers said on Tuesday.

“Ms Semenya’s courage and perseverance in her fight to run free is an inspiration to young athletes in her home country of South Africa and around the globe,” wrote Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc, who have collaborated with Canada-based Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in their defence of the accomplished South African runner.

Here is Semenya’s team of leading independent experts who will provide evidence in support of her case before CAS:

• Professor Veronica Gomez-Lobo is a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Georgetown University and the director of the DSD [Disorder of Sexual Development] Clinic at the Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC, US. She is a pediatric and adolescent gynaecologist with specialised experience in disorders of sexual development.

• Dr Alun Williams is the director of the sports genomics laboratory at Manchester Metropolitan University.

He specialises in genetic differences that affect 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. He has spent almost a decade analysing whether female athletes with disorders of sexual development should be subject to regulation, including in consultation with the International Olympic Committee and as part of working groups including IAAF representatives.

• Professor Roger Pielke Jr is the director of the sports governance centre at the University of Colorado.He holds degrees in mathematics, public policy and political science.

He has more than 25 years of experience in the field of science and technology policy, with a particular emphasis on sport governance, and is considered a world leading expert in this area.

Dankmar Böhning is a professor and the chair in medical statistics at the University of Southampton, UK. 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.

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.

Anthony C 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 disorders of sexual development. 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 disorders of sexual development 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 non-profit organisation that represents the interests of all national team athletes in Canada.

• Other international and domestic legal experts are also available to provide independent opinions, including on the law of South Africa, India, the United States, England, and the European Union. This includes a representative of Human Rights Watch.

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March 17 2019