In this podcast he speaks to his good friend, Africa Legal’s Tom Pearson, about a moment, more than a decade ago, when he realised he could not stand by and watch an injustice being done.
Greg had been at home in Johannesburg watching the 2009 world athletics championship in Berlin where Caster won gold but was then told she would be subjected to sex testing.
“I was aghast,” says Greg. It was later, while out walking his dog, that he realised he could not turn away from a situation so clearly wrong.
Today he is still Caster’s lawyer and still at her side fighting battles that, he says, have more to do with north and south, rich and poor and black and white than athletics. All that he has witnessed, while at Caster’s side, is rooted in prejudice, he says.
This week the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland dismissed Caster’s appeal against a Court of Arbitration in Sport’s ruling allowing the IAAF to impose new rules for competition around women runners with differences in sexual development.
In the conversation Greg gives the legal context to Caster’s battle with the IAA. It was only a fellow African (from Senegal) in the IAAF who had ever really grasped the situation. The attitudes he sees continue to appal him.
Tom highlights how Greg’s involvement in Caster’s legal battles is an example of the power lawyers hold in fighting wrongs.
The conversation swings eventually to mental health and the challenges lawyers face in grappling with demons like addiction and stress in a world that is rooted in high-paced competition.
Greg says, in his own life, Caster’s attitude and inner confidence in the face of immense obstacles has taught him a great deal about his own approach to life’s challenges.
This is a frank conversation about integrity, self-belief, facing off injustice, fighting demons but, most of all, what it truly means to be African.
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