Caster Semenya won gold in the 800 meters at the first IAAF Diamond League meet of the season Friday in Doha, Qatar, her final race before she must begin taking medication that suppresses her testosterone output to continue competing at the sport’s highest levels.
After the race, though, Semenya pushed back, saying she would not take the medication.
On Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the IAAF, track and field's governing body, may maintain its restrictions on athletes such as Semenya, a female competitor who is believed to have an intersex condition that causes her body to naturally produce testosterone at levels much higher than most women.
After Friday's race, Semenya said "hell no" when asked whether she would take the medication.
"That's an illegal method," she said, according to the Associated Press.
Her win on Friday, in 1 minute 54.98 seconds, was her 30th in a row at the distance. She was nearly three seconds faster than second-place Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi.
"When you are a great champion, you always deliver," Semenya told BBC Sport. "It's up to God, God has decided my life, God will end my life, God has decided my career, God will end my career. No man, or any other human, can stop me from running."
Semenya, from South Africa, has won 800 gold at the past two Olympics. Her attorneys have said they will consider appealing the CAS ruling to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, a decision that must be made in less than 30 days from now. But if she wants to compete at September’s world championships in Doha — she’s a three-time gold medalist at the event — Semenya must submit a valid sample with acceptable testosterone levels within the next week.
Nike lent support to Semenya via social media Friday, tweeting, "Never slow down for the world, one day it will catch-up with you. #justdoit."
On Thursday, the 28-year-old Semenya sent out a cryptic tweet that suggested she's thinking about stepping away from the sport.
Following her victory, she dismissed the notion that she was contemplating retirement.
“How am I going to retire when I’m 28?” she asked BBC Sport. “I still feel young, energetic. I still have 10 years or more in athletics. It doesn’t matter how I’m going to do it, what matters is I’ll still be here. I am never going anywhere.”