Semenya announces return to competition

  • Follow Other sports

STELLENBOSCH, South Africa --- Caster Semenya is tired of waiting for track and field's ruling body to release results of her gender tests and plans to return to competition.

South African athlete Caster Semenya says she will return to competitive running as she waits for a ruling body to release her gender test results.   File/Associated Press
File/Associated Press
South African athlete Caster Semenya says she will return to competitive running as she waits for a ruling body to release her gender test results.

What's unclear is whether any meets will allow the world champion to run.

"I hereby publicly announce my return to athletics competitions," Semenya said in a statement Tuesday shortly after a meet in South Africa denied the 19-year-old's request to run.

Semenya has not raced or spoken publicly since winning the women's 800 at the world championships in Berlin in August, when her dramatic improvement in times and muscular build led the International Association of Athletics Federations to order gender tests.

The IAAF is still reviewing the results to determine Semenya's eligibility. The organization has refused to confirm or deny Australian media reports that the tests indicate Semenya has both male and female sex organs.

Semenya has not been banned or suspended, but said Tuesday she had grudgingly committed to wait while the IAAF determined its stance on her eligibility. Now, however, the process has gone on too long and Semenya said her career and livelihood were being impacted.

"I am an athlete first and foremost and it is vital for my competitiveness, my well being and for my preparations for events during the European summer that I measure my performance against other athletes," she said.

Earlier Tuesday, Semenya was denied a spot to race at a meet in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, despite pleas from her coach and lawyer to let her compete.

Semenya was at the meet in Stellenbosch, but refused to talk about her situation.

"Why would I want to talk to media," Semenya said. "I don't want to talk to you."

In the statement, Semenya said: "I have been subjected to unwarranted and invasive scrutiny of the most intimate and private details of my being."

Semenya's lawyer later spoke to The AP, however, saying there has been no agreement with the South African athletics federation for the runner to refrain from competing until the expected June release of her test results by the IAAF.

"We are not stopping her as lawyers," Greg Nott said. "I think she would love to (compete before June). That's for her to answer and her coach. She came ready to race tonight. This action today was about saying: 'It's time for the power to be given back to the athlete, which is Caster.' "


Loading...