Latest Athletics News (Week 1 May 2018)

 New IAAF Laws put Semenya’s career at risk

The new laws announced by the International Association of Athletes Federation (IAAF) regarding the testosterone levels of female athletes might put Caster Semenya’s participation in future events at risk. The regulations announced by the federation would come to effect from November 1st this year and stipulates that female athletes must maintain their blood testosterone level below 5 nmol/L consistently (by using hormonal contraceptives, if needed), whether in or out of competition. The rule applies to athletes who compete events such as 400m, 800m, 1,500m and one-mile races. These rules are a direct threat to Caster Semenya’s athletic career and have even been called out by Sports and Recreational Minister, Tokozile Xasa as a targeted approach against Semenya.   Caster is a double-Olympic champion and recently won gold in both 800m and 1500m races at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, setting a new record of 4:00:71 for the 1500m race.

Peter Norman to be awarded posthumous Order of Merit

Peter Norman, the Australian sprinter who was involved in the Black Power Salute at the Mexico Olympics in 1968, will be awarded posthumous Order of Merit. An Order of Merit is awarded by the Australian Olympic Committee to athletes who have achieved commendable merit in the athletics world. Norman, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 64, had stood on the 200m with American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith while the two protested against racial discrimination at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. While Tommie and John had raised a fist covered in black leather glove and bowed their heads as a sign of protest against racism in America, Norman had worn a badge in support of human rights. Norman was punished for his role in the protest and was reportedly forbidden from competing in the Olympics since then. In 2012, the Australian Parliament expressed regret for failing to recognised Norman’s inspirational role before his untimely death and AOC President John Coates says that the Order of Merit for Peter Norman was long overdue. Campaigners have also planned to build a statue in Melbourne in Norman’s honour.

Mo Farah to miss European Championships marathon

Four-time Olympic track champion, Mo Farah will not be participating in the European Athletics Championship, which is to take place in August at Berlin. Farah has lately been in the limelight for having broken the British record at the London Marathon and he achieved the qualification for European Championships in the same performance. However, much like Scotsman Callum Hawkins, Farah has not taken up the invitation for the European Championships. Mo is planning to participate at the Tokyo Olympics and is also expected to compete in the World Championships to take place in Doha next year.