Caster Semenya says she's not just fighting for herself in her ongoing battle with the IAAF over rules governing acceptable levels of testosterone among female athletes.
"To be honest‚ this is no longer about me," Semenya said Thursday while speaking at the Discovery Leadership Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. "I've achieved everything I want in life.
"What about those young girls that still want to run who have the same situation as mine? That means their dreams are shattered. So someone has to do something about it. I just called my team [and said]‚ 'Look‚ I think we need to fight this thing. Enough is enough.'"
In April, the IAAF announced new rules that set the acceptable level of testosterone for female athletes at 5 nmol/L -- half of the previously accepted 10 nmol/L level -- for the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1,500-meter events. In order to compete in those events, athletes with differences of sex development (DSD) would need to medically lower their natural testosterone levels.
The new regulations were slated to go into effect on Nov. 1 before being put on hold until March as Semenya petitioned the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
This latest round of regulations for athletes with DSD comes after Indian sprinter Dutee Chand's successful petition of CAS in 2015, which gave the IAAF two years to provide proof that women with higher levels of natural testosterone experienced significant advantages in athletic performance.
Semenya is contesting those new regulations in court, although the South African did not originally plan to challenge IAAF and the new regulations.
"What I wanted to do was just piss them off a bit," Semenya said.
Semenya is the current world champion in the 800 meters and has two Olympic gold medals at that distance.