Intl law firm to represent Semenya

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pretoria - An International law firm, Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, has announced it will represent Caster Semenya and advise her on her human rights and rights as an athlete.

The 800m world champion athlete is currently has been run down in the media after the International Association of Athletics Federation conducted gender tests on her during the World Athletics Championships in Berlin.

The media have claimed that the test results showed she was inter-sexed.

According to a statement, the firm will represent and advise Semenya on a pro bono basis on all legal matters relating to her human rights and her rights as an athlete.

"In the coming days, the firm will quickly initiate contact with the International Association of Athletics Federation to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that Ms Semenya's rights are fully respected and that all legal rules are followed."

Greg Nott, Managing Partner of Dewey & LeBoeuf's South Africa office explained that Semenya's plight was a great matter of concern not just to South Africans, but to fair-minded people around the world.

"We are going to do everything possible to make certain that her civil and legal rights and dignity as a person are fully protected."

Meanwhile, Athletics South Africa (ASA) announced it would appointment a commission of enquiry to investigate how the body had handled the Semenya debacle.

ASA said that it could not respond to individual and ongoing allegations, speculation and rumours from a variety of sources and therefore it would propose a commission of enquiry to deal conclusively with all questions around its conduct.

"In order to focus its attention in the best interests of all its athletes, the ASA is open to the appointment a commission of enquiry into the way in which it conducted its affairs around the Semenya issue," said ASA.