Caster Semenya’s legal team have hit out against the IAAF for releasing their list of expert witnesses before their battle with the international athletics federation in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne this week.
Her law firm Norton Rose Fulbright castigated the IAAF for disclosing the names of their experts before the arbitration proceedings which was not supposed to be made public.
“The arbitration proceedings are subject to strict confidentiality provisions and this information should not have been released,” Norton Rose Fulbright said.
“Ms Semenya believes the IAAF press release is a clear breach of the confidentiality provisions, orchestrated in an effort to influence public opinion in circumstances where the IAAF knew that Ms Semenya would not be prepared to respond because she was complying with her confidentiality obligations.”
The CAS has since granted Semenya’s legal team permission to release information responding to the IAAF release as a matter of fairness.
Norton Rose Fulbright said they would disclose their list of experts today.
“She is grateful to the CAS for the opportunity to present her case and for granting her permission to disclose her list of experts publicly in response to the IAAF,” Norton Rose Fulbright said.
“Going forward the CAS has reiterated that the arbitration proceedings are confidential and information about the case should not be disclosed publicly.”
Meanwhile, the Associated Press has reported that Semenya arrived in Lausanne for the CAS hearings which have been scheduled for five days.
The IAAF yesterday defended its female eligibility regulations that will require women with naturally elevated levels of testosterone to lower (it) to below five nanomoles for at least six months. This will be limited to athletes who participate in events ranging from the 400m to the mile (about 1600m).
“The female category in sport is a protected category,” the IAAF said.
“For it to serve its purposes, which include providing females opportunities equal to males, it must have eligibility standards that ensure that athletes who identify as female but have testes, and testosterone levels in the male range, at least drop their testosterone levels into the female range to compete at the elite level in the female classification.”