Caster Semenya of South Africa. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Caster Semenya of South Africa. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam has confirmed that the process to challenge the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in defence of Caster Semenya has begun.

Legal experts‚ high-ranking officials from the Department of Sport and Recreation and members of Sascoc’s medical commission, led by Dr Phatho Zondi, met in Cape Town on Wednesday to discuss the way forward.

"The process is simple. As we speak now‚ there is a meeting taking place in Cape Town today between Sport Recreation SA‚ Sascoc medical commission and a group of lawyers looking into this matter‚" said Sam on Wednesday in Pretoria where Sascoc thanked the National Lotteries Commission for its support.

"All those people are sitting around the table so that we have one voice going forward. We need to have a clear plan of how we are going to approach the IAAF and we want all related parties to engage.

"We are getting our ducks in [a] row and after Wednesday’s meeting‚ they will then advise Athletics SA and Sascoc on what we need to do to move to the second phase of the process.

"After this meeting in Cape Town‚ we will be briefed and information sharing will take place among all the role players and then we will approach the IAAF. I am not sure when we will be going to the IAAF but ultimately we will approach them."

The IAAF recently introduced rules that prevent women with naturally high levels of testosterone from participating in middle-distance races unless they agree to take medication.

Sam also said SA would target at least 15 medals at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Beijing. "Let us put the target there ... three medals each in athletics‚ swimming and rowing. We will try to get the other six from the other sports."

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