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An analytical study of the human rights concerns before the CAS with reference to Caster Semenya

Abstract

At a time when the social ideas regarding gender are shifting and the need for protection of human rights in sports has been emphasized, the IAAF Regulations on the participation of non-binary athletes in sporting competitions have been exclusionary and display a disregard for the legal standing of human rights of the athletes. At this juncture, the competency of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), the premier forum for dispute resolution in international sports, to adjudicate upon cases concerning the human rights of the athletes has been called into question after its failure to uphold the human rights concerns of the South African athlete Caster Semenya who challenged the validity of these IAAF Regulations vis-à-vis the requirement of female athletes to conform to a certain level of testosterone in their systems. This paper analyzes the functions of the CAS and argues why the CAS is uniquely placed to uphold the human rights of the athletes. Additionally, the paper delves into the historical understanding of gender verification in sports and examines the scientific evidence regarding elevated male hormones leading to competitive advantage in female athletes. Finally, the paper suggests reforms for the CAS for it to be better equipped in handling human right concerns before it.

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Notes

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  2. Semerjian and Cohen (2006) pp. 28–43.

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  6. Heerdt, 2018, p.181.

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  8. See Jones et al., 2017a, b, pp. 227–238.

  9. West (2019), Schwab (2018), Turley (2016).

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  11. ibid.

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  15. See Lubaale (2019) pp.14413-14432.

  16. BBC, ‘Caster Semenya: United Nations criticizes 'humiliating' IAAF rule’ on 25 March 2019.

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  20. Caudwell (2017) pp. 27-44.

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  28. Zahedi et al. (2018) p. 177.

  29. CAS 2018/O/5794.

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  34. Lindholm (2021) p.1.

  35. Cf. Bühring-Uhle (2005) p. 35.

  36. Yu (2008) pp. 265–267.

  37. ibid., pp. 268–278; Stone Sweet and Grisel (2017) pp. 26–28.

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  40. ibid., pp. 11–20.

  41. Lindholm (2019a, b) pp. 85–114.

  42. ibid.

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  45. Swiss Bundesgericht, BGE 129 III 445 (Lazutina), at p. 462.

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  48. See, e.g., CAS 91/53, G. v. FEI, para. 11; CAS 2001/A/317, Aanes, para. 6; CAS 2004/A/777, ARcycling AG v. UCI, para. 20; CAS 2010/A/2275, CGF v. EGA, para. 29.

  49. Lindholm (2021) p.3

  50. Heerdt (2018) p.183.

  51. Working Group on International Arbitration of Business and Human Rights and others, International Arbitration of Business and Human Rights: A Step Forward (16 November 2017) http://arbitrationblog.kluwerarbitration.com/2017/11/16/international-arbitration-business-human-rights-step-forward/ (Accessed 25 November 2017).

  52. Geeraert et al. (2015), p. 473.

  53. Saverio Spera, Time for Transparency at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, 31 January 2017, http://www.asser.nl/SportsLaw/Blog/post/transparency-at-the-court-of-arbitration-for-sport-by-saverio-spera (Accessed 10 January 2018).

  54. Cernic (2014) p. 9.

  55. ibid., p. 22.

  56. Human Rights Council, A/HRC/17/31 (2011) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Principle 31.

  57. Nafziger (2004) p. 3.

  58. Ruggie (See n3), p. 26.

  59. Patel (2015).

  60. Patel (2021) p.3.

  61. Olsen-Acre (2007) p. 210.

  62. Patel (n 59)

  63. Wood and Stanton (January 2012) p. 9.

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  65. Wood and Stanton (January 2012) p. 9.

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  70. Huang and Basaria, 15 March 2018, p. 3.

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  74. See Strauss et al., 1985, pp. 2871–2873.

  75. See Bermon, 2017, pp. 246–251.

  76. See Eklund et al., 2017, pp. 6 23.

  77. Brassil and Longman, 2020 in The New York Times.

  78. See Strauss et al., 1985, pp. 2871–2873.

  79. See Nieschlag and Vorona, 2015, p. 173.

  80. See Hoffman & Tarzian, 2001, pp. 13–27.

  81. Wertheim, 28 June 2019 in Sports Illustrated.

  82. ibid

  83. ibid.

  84. Herman, 27 August 1976 in The New York Times.

  85. Wood and Stanton, January 2012, p. 9.

  86. See Bojesen and Gravholt, 2007, pp. 192–204.

  87. Herman, 27 August 1976 in The New York Times..

  88. Amdur, 17 August 1977 in The New York Times

  89. Renee Richards v. US Tennis Association, 93 Misc.2d 713 (1977).

  90. ibid.

  91. New York Executive Law, § 297, subd 9.

  92. Lindholm, 2021, p.3.

  93. CAS 2020/A/6807.

  94. Patel, 2021, p.5.

  95. Athletics Federation of India, ‘About AFI’ (5 December 2020) < https://indianathletics.in/about-afi/ > accessed on 9 December 2020.

  96. Dutee Chand v. Athletics Federation of India (AFI) & International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) CAS 2014/A/3759 7.

  97. Olympic Channel, ‘Dutee CHAND biography’(2020) <https://www.olympicchannel.com/en/athletes/detail/dutee-chand/> accessed on 9 December 2020.

  98. Dutee Chand v. Athletics Federation of India (AFI) & International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) CAS 2014/A/3759 para 7.

  99. ibid.

  100. ibid para 8.

  101. ibid para 3.

  102. ibid para 110.

  103. ibid para 112.

  104. ibid para 111.

  105. ibid para 112.

  106. Patel (2021) p.8.

  107. Wood and Stanton (January 2012) p.7.

  108. ibid.

  109. ibid.

  110. Section 2.2 (a) (ii), IAAF Eligibility Regulations for the Female Classification (23 April 2018).

  111. Mokgadi Caster Semenya v. International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) CAS 2018/O/5794 para 2.

  112. See Bermon and Garnier (2017) pp. 1-7.

  113. Mokgadi Caster Semenya v. International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) CAS 2018/O/5794 para 3.

  114. ibid para 159.

  115. ibid.

  116. ibid para 553.

  117. ibid para 469; 555.

  118. ibid para 458.

  119. ibid para 471.

  120. Holzer (2020b) in OpinioJuris.

  121. Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, A/HRC/44/26 (15 June 2020) para 34.

  122. Mavromati and Reeb (2015) p. 74.

  123. Holzer (n 120).

  124. Mokgadi Caster Semenya v. International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Swiss Federal Tribunal 4A_248/2019 4A_398/2019 paras 9.4, 10.1, 11.

  125. ibid para 9.1

  126. Swiss Federal Supreme Court, ‘DSD Regulations: Caster Semenya's appeal against the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed’(Lausanne, 8 September 2020) 2 <https://www.bger.ch/files/live/sites/bger/files/pdf/en/4A_248_2019_yyyy_mm_dd_T_e_18_18_10.pdf> accessed on 10 April 2021.

  127. ibid

  128. David, 13 April 2021 in LawInSport.

  129. AP, 25 February 2021 in ESPN.

  130. Mutu and Pechstein v. Switzerland, Nos. 40575/10 and 67474/10, 2 October 2018.

  131. Voser & Gottlieb, 19 December 2018 in Kluwer Arbitration Blog.

  132. Court of Arbitration for Sport, ‘STATEMENT OF THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) ON THE DECISION MADE BY THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS (ECHR) IN THE CASE BETWEEN CLAUDIA PECHSTEIN / ADRIAN MUTU AND SWITZERLAND’ (Lausanne, 2 October 2018) < https://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Media_Release_Mutu_Pechstein_ECHR.pdf> accessed on 10 April 2021.

  133. Holzer (2020b) in OpinioJuris.

  134. ibid.

  135. Carter & Chaize, 6 September 2019 in DLA Piper Publications.

  136. Duval, 2019, pp. 18–22; Lindholm, 2019a, b, pp. 108–113.

  137. Pielke et al., 2019, p.8.

  138. Morse, 29 October 2019 in CNN.

  139. World Law Forum, 2020, p. 8.

  140. ibid, p.7.

  141. ibid, p.6.

  142. Permanent Court of Arbitration, ‘Financial Assistance Fund’ (2021) https://pca-cpa.org/en/about/structure/faf/.

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Correspondence to Kingshuk Saha.

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Chanda, S., Saha, K. An analytical study of the human rights concerns before the CAS with reference to Caster Semenya. Int Sports Law J (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40318-022-00214-5

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Keywords

  • CAS
  • Human rights
  • Gender regulations
  • Caster Semenya
  • IAAF