Judgment concerning Switzerland

Human Rights building

In the case of Semenya v. Switzerland the Court held that there had been a violation of the prohibition of discrimination taken together with the right to respect for private life as well as a violation of the right to an effective remedy.

The case concerned an international-level athlete, specialising in middle-distance races, who complained about certain regulations of the International Association of Athletics Federations requiring her to take hormone treatment to decrease her natural testosterone level in order to be able to take part in international competitions in the female category. Having refused to undergo the treatment, she was no longer able to take part in international competitions.

The Court found that the applicant had not been afforded sufficient institutional and procedural safeguards in Switzerland to allow her to have her complaints examined effectively and that the domestic remedies available to the applicant could not be considered effective in the circumstances of the present case.

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