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Johannesburg's Sports Minister says IAAF new rule is very sexist, racial and homophobic

The Sports and Recreation Minister, Tokozile Xasa in Johannesburg, South Africa believes that Caster Semenya is being targeted by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for her continued success on the track. Semenya made history at the recent Commonwealth Games held on Australia’s Gold Coast by winning gold medals in the 800m and 1 500m races, and setting a new 1 500m record of 4:00.71. Last week, in a surprise decision, the IAAF announced that women athletes who compete in 400m, 800m, 1 500m and mile events, would in future have to take medication that would decrease their natural testosterone levels. Xasa complained that this was a “targeted approach”. “We see this as a targeted approach by the IAAF,” she said. “This new initiative comes after she (Semenya) broke records at the Commonwealth Games. “It is also Africans that are participating in long-distance races, therefore we view it as a target,” the minister said. “To compound the argument, she’s also a woman, hence this becomes sexist. This should have come a long time ago, not only when she wins medals as a way to discourage her. “We take this as very sexist, racial and homophobic. “We are angry and we want the entire country to rally behind us. Since Africans are doing well in these races, there are now a lot of questions that are surrounding them, thus we are very disappointed.” Now in the prime of her career, as a result of her physique, Semenya has also had her sexuality questioned by the IAAF. She has already taken tests for gender traits to check whether she is female or male.  Caster married her longtime girlfriend in January 2017. Same-sex marriage has been legal in South Africa since 2006. (04/30/2018) ⚡AMP

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