Renowned South African athlete Caster Semenya is facing backlash for asking the public for donations to fund her legal fees. This came after the athlete went public, appealing for money to pay people to help her case at the European Court of Human Rights.
The two-time Olympic champion is facing restrictions in specific competitions due to her refusal to undergo testosterone level reduction treatment. She has reached out for financial assistance in her ongoing legal struggle against this regulation.
Caster Semenya Asks for donations.
In a press conference held in Johannesburg on Friday, Semenya expressed the financial challenges faced by her legal team, emphasizing the need for support as her next hearing at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is scheduled for May 15.
“We don’t have enough money. We have a lot of experts with us that we have to pay. Anything you can contribute will make a huge difference.”
Her South African legal representatives, who are providing pro bono assistance, estimated the cost of the hearing to be around 170,000 euros (£145,000; $198,000). Gregory Nott, her lawyer, criticized the excessive amount, stating, “It’s completely ridiculous. That is why we are appealing to the public.”
Caster Semenya faces backlash on social media.
The athlete gained some support from South Africans but also some backlash. Back in 2016, students in South Africa protested against school fees, wanting free education. However, Caster Semenya, a student, then slammed the protests.
The athlete complained that the protests prevented her from graduating and continuing her studies. People are reminding the world of how Semenya spoke against the protests that would have benefitted other people.
On top of that, Caster Semenya posted pictures with his wife on what seemed like a vacation recently. Some social media users claim that if she can afford a vacation, she should pay her legal team.
Caster Semenya’s Ongoing Struggle for Recognition
Despite having a natural excess of male sex hormones, Semenya has consistently been legally recognized as a woman. Over the past decade, she has fiercely contested the regulations imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), advocating for preserving her “dignity and human rights.”
In a significant development, the Grand Chamber of the ECHR agreed in November to review the case of the two-time Olympic 800m champion (2012, 2016).
Legal Triumphs and Ongoing Challenges
Earlier in July, the 33-year-old athlete achieved a legal victory when the ECHR ruled in her favour in the initial instance against Switzerland, acknowledging her as a victim of discrimination. However, Swiss authorities, supported by World Athletics, expressed their intention to escalate the case to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR, acting as an appellate court with conclusive decisions.
The initial ruling, decided by a narrow majority of four judges to three, marked a pivotal moment in Semenya’s prolonged legal battle.