Athletics South Africa (ASA) says it is “reeling in shock” after Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya lost a landmark case against athletics’ governing body.
The South African, 28, challenged new IAAF rules which attempt to restrict testosterone levels in female runners.
Athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) must now take medication to compete in some track events or change to another distance.
ASA said the decision “goes to lengths to justify” discrimination.
Semenya had challenged the IAAF’s new rules at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) but on Wednesday it announced it had rejected the appeal.
“We believe their decision is disgraceful,” ASA added.
And it said by justifying discrimination, Cas had “seen it fit to open the wounds of apartheid” – the South African political system which enforced white rule and racial segregation until 1991 – which it pointed out was “condemned by the whole world as a crime against humanity”.
Cas found the rules for athletes with DSD, like Semenya, were discriminatory – but that the discrimination was “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to protect “the integrity of female athletics”.
But, in making the ruling on Wednesday, Cas said it had “serious concerns as to the future practical application” of the regulations.