From Inside the Games

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe believes they have a “responsibility to protect” female athletes, following the ruling preventing Caster Semenya from competing at the World Championships in Doha.

The South African will not defend her 800-metres title after the Swiss Supreme Court reversed a ruling which suspended a regulation imposed by the IAAF regarding testosterone levels, pending an appeal from Semenya.

The 28-year-old is appealing a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) supporting the IAAF regulation that athletes with differences in sexual development (DSD) who wish to compete in events ranging from 400m and a mile must take medication in order to reduce testosterone levels.

Coe claimed that, while the landscape of sport may change in the future, he feels the IAAF need to maintain a clear division between male and female classifications.

“The importance of trying to keep the sport together, particularly women’s sport, that’s important to me,” Coe toldĀ CNN World Sport.

“It may be in 30 years, 40 years time society takes a different view and we have other classifications, I don’t know.

“But at this point, my responsibility was to protect two classifications and that’s what we feel we’ve done.”

Coe insisted the matter is not personal between himself, the IAAF and Semenya, and that he has not spoken to her about the ruling.

“I think it’s been handled as sensitively as it possibly could be,” he said.

“This is not about an individual athlete, it’s not about a particular country, it’s not about a continent, and I don’t see this as a personal issue.

“I see this as the right decision and those regulations have been tabled for what I believe are the right reasons and, most importantly, the majority of my Council.”

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