Caster Semenya’s competitive return blocked

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles    

Semenya

Caster Semenya has been subjected to a media whirlwind since she stormed to gold at the World Athletic Championships in Berlin last summer.

Questions had been raised throughout the competition over the gender of the 800m champion. Many suggested that Semenya was a hermaphrodite, yet the claims currently still remain unproven.

Due to an ongoing investigation by the International Association of Athletics Federation, the South African Olympic Committee announced this week Semenya would be unable to compete in the imminent domestic season.

The SASCOC president Gideon Sam said: “Caster Semenya is not eligible to run in any sanctioned meeting or race.”

He added: “The matter over the results of her gender test are still sitting with the international parent organization, the IAAF.”

The SASCOC have effectively rendered the 800m runner unable to compete while she is the subject of the ongoing investigation, despite the IAAF stating that she is free to run.

In another twist in the tale, the 19-year-old’s legal firm have hit back, insisting that Semenya should be permitted to compete and is innocent of any wrongdoing. In addition, they argued that the South African athlete’s rights are being infringed.

“It is clear that our client’s rights are once again being infringed,” said Gregory Nott, Semenya’s lawyer. “Caster is a world champion. She has committed no wrongdoing.”

“On the contrary, she has competed with the best and won. Her medal is confirmed as is her prize money and her record stands. She has not been disqualified to participate in any future athletics meetings.”

Furthermore he insisted that her rights should be “respected by all international bodies.”

Semenya’s coach has also argued that his client should be free to compete in the Yellow Page Series. The SASCOC had originally signalled that the world champion would be allowed to take part in the competition before bizarrely back-tracking.

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