IAAF have sought to overturn provisional measures introduced by the Swiss Federal Tribunal ©Getty Images

A response to the Swiss Federal Tribunal requesting a superprovisional order be overturned regarding South Africa’s Caster Semenya has been submitted by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Earlier this month, the court ordered the rules which force athletes with differences in sexual development (DSD) to take drugs to medically reduce their naturally-occurring testosterone if they want to compete at events ranging from 400 metres to a mile be put on hold with immediate effect.

The IAAF claimed the court order only applied to the double Olympic and three-times 800m world champion.

The "superprovisional order" was considered a major boost for Semenya in her challenge against a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision.

The CAS decision had ruled in the IAAF's favour.

In response, the IAAF promised it would "seek a swift reversion of the superprovisional order moving forwards so that the DSD Regulations apply to all affected athletes in order (among other things) to avoid serious confusion among athletes and event organisers and to protect the integrity of the sport".

The IAAF, whose President Sebastian Coe has been attending the 134th International Olympic Committee Session here, have now issued a response to the provisional measures.

The world governing body have specifically requested the reversal of the order to the IAAF to super-provisionally suspend the implementation of the DSD regulations in respect of the appellant.

The IAAF have also called for the "dismissal of the appellant's application to suspend the implementation of the DSD Regulations in respect of the appellant pending the outcome of the appeal".

The IAAF said it will continue to defend its DSD Regulations and the CAS award ©Getty Images
The IAAF said it will continue to defend its DSD Regulations and the CAS award ©Getty Images

"The IAAF fully respects each individual's personal dignity and supports the social movement to have people accepted in society based on their chosen legal sex and/or gender identity," an IAAF statement read.

"However, it is also committed to female athletes having the same opportunities as male athletes to benefit from athletics, be that as elite female athletes participating in fair and meaningful competition, as young girls developing life and sport skills, or as administrators or officials.

"This requires a protected category for females where eligibility is based on biology and not on gender identity.

"This crucial point was accepted and emphasised by the CAS in its 30 April 2019 decision to uphold the DSD Regulations.

"To define the category based on something other than biology would be category defeating and would deter many girls around the world from choosing competitive and elite sport after puberty.

"The IAAF will continue to defend its DSD Regulations and the CAS Award in the appeal proceedings before the Swiss Federal Tribunal, because it continues to believe in equal rights and opportunities for all women and girls in our sport today and in the future."

The IAAF’s rules, which came into force on May 8, mean DSD athletes with naturally high levels of testosterone who wish to participate in events between 400m and a mile must medically limit that level to under 5 nmol/L, double the normal female range of below 2 nmol/L.

They were described as "discriminatory" by the CAS when it ruled in favour of the IAAF and against Semenya but it also said the policy was "necessary, reasonable and proportionate" to protect the fairness of women's sport.