Johannesburg - South Africa’s golden girl, Caster Semenya, has extended her four-year unbeaten streak in the 800 metre race after cruising to victory at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting at Stanford University in northern California on Sunday.
The unbeatable Semenya finished in 1 minute 55-point 70 seconds, almost three seconds ahead of the United States’ Ajee Wilson, extending her dominance that is under threat from new International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules governing testosterone levels in female athletes.
It is the first time she has taken part in the 800 metre race since the beginning of May after she lost her court challenge against the IAAF rules which banned her from taking part in track events over distances of 400 metres to a mile, unless she takes medication to control her testosterone levels.
That ruling was, however, subsequently put on hold by a Swiss Federal Tribunal pending a full hearing, leaving Semenya free to compete until a final decision in her case.
If the court eventually upholds the earlier CAS ruling, Semenya will be forced to take medication to suppress her testosterone levels, or else switch to longer events.
The two-time Olympic champion has not been beaten in the 800m since September 2015 and her winning streak includes 30 consecutive victories in major finals.
Speaking to journalists, Semenya said she will not take part in this year’s World Championships if she loses her legal battle with the IAAF even though she is allowed to compete over longer distances.
Semenya accused the athletics’ governing body of using her body “as a human guinea pig experiment” by forcing her to take the medication to control her testosterone levels.
“The IAAF used me in the past as a human guinea pig to experiment with how the medication they required me to take would affect my testosterone levels. Even though the hormonal drugs made me feel constantly sick, the IAAF now wants to enforce even stricter thresholds with unknown health consequences.
“I will not allow the IAAF to use me and my body again. But I am concerned that other female athletes will feel compelled to let the IAAF drug them and test the effectiveness and negative health effects of different hormonal drugs. This cannot be allowed to happen,” said Semenya.