Caster Semenya’s domination of women’s middle-distance running is likely to end with the introduction of new rules which will be announced on Thursday.
The IAAF will reveal their highly controversial rule changes for athletes with hyperandrogenism, with the decision expected to force Semenya either to take medication to reduce her naturally occurring testosterone levels or move to longer-distance events.
Semenya, 27, a double Olympic champion over 800m, underlined her superiority at the Commonwealth Games when she took gold in the 1500m as well as over 800m.
But the new IAAF rules will apply to any distance from 400m to the mile, forcing Semenya to switch to the 5,000m and 10,000m if she refuses to take medication that can be used on a daily basis in tablet form.
When the IAAF introduced a similar rule in 2011 in response to Semenya’s stunning victory at the 2009 World Championships — a limit for natural testosterone for female athletes was set — it had a significant impact on the South African.
She lost to Mariya Savinova at the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics. It was only after Savinova was exposed as a drug cheat that Semenya was upgraded to gold in both events.
Last month the IAAF council approved a proposal to limit naturally produced testosterone for female competitors in distances from 400m to the mile with a view to implementing the rule by November.