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Volume 7 No. 149

Leagues and Governing Bodies

IAAF lawyers are expected to argue that Caster Semenya is a "biological male."

The IAAF's lawyers will next week tell a court that Olympic women's 800m champion Caster Semenya should be classified as female but is also a "biological male," according to the LONDON TIMES. The five-day hearing at the Court of Arbitration of Sport "is seen as a landmark case" surrounding athletes with "differences of sexual development" (DSD), and is also "likely to have an influence on the rules surrounding transgender athletes taking part in women’s competition." The case is also "extremely sensitive and potentially highly divisive." The IAAF’s lawyers will reportedly argue that the 28-year-old South African -- and "other runners with a similar DSD who have testes" -- should be "classified as biologically male, but who should be permitted to identify as female and to compete in women’s races" if, as transgender athletes do, "they take testosterone suppressants." Jonathan Taylor, the IAAF’s London-based lawyer from law firm Bird & Bird, said that if the case went against the athletics body, "then it would be a serious blow to women athletes with normal female levels of testosterone," which are on average 15 times lower than the normal male range (LONDON TIMES, 2/13).

National Rugby League CEOs "will discuss a radical plan where clubs implement immediate and compulsory fines" on misbehaving players who "tarnish rugby league," according to Dean Ritchie of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. It will form part of an "in-depth and intense discussion into player misconduct" at a high-powered CEO conference in Melbourne on Friday. The plan "has been briefly explored" by several CEOs who will attend Friday’s meeting. The proposal would reportedly "be similar to that introduced at Newcastle" by CEO Phil Gardner. One suggestion would see a player fined 10% of his contract earnings with a first offense, before being increased to 25% "if found guilty of misconduct a second time." Some CEOs claim "no player would be exempt from the plan." More serious off-field misbehavior "would see players sacked." One CEO said, "The fines have to be substantial. It would be a compulsory fine -- not discretionary. It would be a percent of his playing fee -- that would really whack them." NRL CEO Todd Greenberg will stress to club CEOs once again on Friday the importance of player behavior. He said, "I’ve been very clear about the damage which the recent incidents have had and will have on the game as a whole. The damage is significant" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 2/13).