National 100 metres and 400m record holder, Maximilla Imali, has broken her silence over IAAF’s new rule on hyperandrogenism, saying that the rule which seeks to restrict testosterone levels among female runners is also segregative.
Imali, who has vowed that she will not take drugs to suppress her testosterone levels, has accused the world athletics governing body of segregation, saying the affected athletes didn’t choose to be born the way they were.
“Where is the fairness in all these when other sporting disciplines have embraced athletes (with hyperandrogenism) like us?” Imali said, adding that some changes introduced by IAAF are meant to bring down African athletes.
“I find it nonsensical to have separate categories for DSD (Difference of Sexual Development) athletes, yet they can’t compete among themselves since they are very few. How many are they?”
The 23-year-old said she will not be weighed down by the IAAF rule, adding that she will focus on refining her skill in 100m and 200m races before shifting to longer distance races.
Imali is among three Kenyan athletes affected by the new rule on hyperandrogenism that seeks to restrict testosterone levels in female runners. The others are Olympic 800m bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera and fast-rising 400m runner Evangeline Makena.
On Tuesday, Nyairera, who has criticised the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) and IAAF over last week’s ruling against South Africa’s Caster Semenya, said she had undergone testosterone tests as instructed but she is yet to get the results.
“I know nothing about that and I am just training in Ngong as usual,” said Nyairera.
Imali and Makena are waiting to know their fate as to whether they will travel for the World Relay Championships planned for this weekend in Yokohama, Japan.
Imali was set to team up with Hellen Syombua, Maureen Thomas, Aaron Koech, Alphas Kishoyian and Jared Momanyi in Kenya’s 4x400m mixed relays team at the championship. Makena had been slotted in women’s 4x400m team of Gladys Musyoki, Neviah Michira and Veronica Mutua.
A source at Athletics Kenya on Tuesday disclosed that results of internal random tests done at a Nairobi hospital revealed that the three athletes were found to have higher levels of testosterone.
This comes a week after South African Olympic and World champion Semenya lost her appeal against the IAAF rule at Cas.
Semenya had challenged a new rule by IAAF that restricts testosterone levels among female runners. The ruling means the IAAF will be allowed to restrict testosterone levels in female runners starting May 8, this year.
Cas rejected Semenya’s challenge against the new rule by IAAF, saying it had “serious concerns as to the future practical application” of the new rules.
They said the decision was “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to make sure competition was fair for females.
Semenya, 28, said the regulations were “unfair” and that she wanted to “run naturally, the way I was born”.
Imali said she supported Semenya from the word go in her case.
The athletes will now have to take medication to reduce their testosterone levels if they want to keep running in the same distances on the international stage.
The rule applies to events from 400m to the mile, including hurdles races, 800m, 1,500m and combined events over the same distances.
The IAAF announced there would be a separate classification for athletes who have a difference of sexual development (DSD). Beginning November 1, DSD athletes will be required to reduce their blood testosterone levels if they want to compete internationally.
Europe beckons for South African rugby after Kiwi snub
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jul 20 – World Cup-winning Springbok Schalk Brits believes the future of South African rugby lies in Europe after New Zealand said there was no room for sides from the republic in Super Rugby.
“All of this jet lag and flying across different time zones just does not work,” said the hooker who retired after the triumphant 2019 World Cup campaign.
“We have got so many South Africans playing in Europe and it would be awesome to see them in action here for European clubs.”
With New Zealand favouring a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition, South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux will address the media Tuesday about the way forward.
There has been no rugby in South Africa since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which claimed 5,033 lives by late Sunday, the most in an African country.
Here, AFP Sport looks at the possibilities for the world champions Springboks and Super Rugby teams the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.
There has been speculation that the six-round annual tournament will be cut to four matches with New Zealand and Australia playing in South Africa only every second year.
That would be a huge blow for SA Rugby coffers as the century-old rivalry with the All Blacks makes them a huge drawcard.
South Africa might consider abandoning the Championship and pursuing a suggestion by former All Blacks Justin Marshall and Jeff Wilson for three-Test tours between the great rivals.
“British and Irish Lions tours are so successful because we look forward to them,” noted another ex-All Black, John Kirwan. The same could be said of an All Blacks-Springboks series.
Should South African franchises move north, would the Springboks follow suit and apply to join England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in a ‘Seven Nations’ championship?
Having the world champions on board would surely excite the organisers and costs would be greatly reduced if the Springboks played their three away matches on consecutive weekends.
England, Ireland, France and Wales, in particular, would bring freshness for rugby followers, who have not rushed to the turnstiles for Championship visits by Australia and Argentina.
Ask the SA Rugby treasurer for his ‘dream’ line-up and he would surely say a multi-Test tour by the All Blacks and participation in the ‘Seven Nations’.
Although not official yet, the reality is that New Zealand want to play some Australian sides and the Pacific Islands in a new competition while excluding South Africa and Argentina.
The original version, a Super 10 between 1993 and 1995, was a superb competition, but constant tinkering and expansion has led to waning interest in a difficult-to-follow event.
Even those supporting the Golden Lions of South Africa could not have derived too much satisfaction from a 94-7 thrashing of Japanese visitors the Sunwolves three years ago.
South Africa sides often battled with time differences in Australasia — New Zealand is 11 hours ahead of the republic — and were weary after four-match tours.
Pro14 chief executive Martin Anayi says he would welcome Super Rugby ‘rejects’ the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers into an expanded edition.
“The tournament works well but could be even better if we added some South African teams,” he said, referring to a competition that also includes Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh teams.
But there may be no room for the two current South African Pro14 participants, the Cheetahs and Kings, who have experienced very different fortunes.
While the Cheetahs have been competitive, the Kings won just four of 55 matches in three seasons with some of the losing margins embarrassing.
The domestic competition has survived constant format changes to remain the vital ‘nursery’ from which Springboks emerge.
First staged in 1892, it was the bedrock of South African rugby until the dawn of professionalism after the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
As Test and Super Rugby fixtures took up an increasing amount of the season, the Currie Cup often battled for calendar space.
But it survived and this year could feature the four Super Rugby sides plus the Cheetahs, Kings, Griquas and Pumas, if play is possible amid the coronavirus.
Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19
Kenya’s coronavirus cases rise to 13,771 after 418 more infections
Kenya on Monday reported 418 more Covid-19 infections, raising the country’s tally to 13,771 since the virus was first confirmed on March 13.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman also reported four more deaths, raising the toll to 238. He rectified an earlier report about 19 deaths in a single day, which would have been the highest number ever recorded in Kenya.
The 418 new patients were found following the testing of 2,474 samples in the last 24 hours.
Four hundred and eight of them were Kenyans and 10 foreigners while male patients numbered 263 and female patients 155.
Dr Aman also announced that 494 patients had been discharged, raising the country’s total number of recoveries to 5,616.
Of the recovered patients, 465 were under home care and the rest in hospitals.
More to follow