herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Semenya returns to force decision

World 800m champion Caster Semenya appears to be attempting to force a decision about her future after announcing her intention to return to competition this season.

The South African, who underwent tests to determine her gender, has not raced since winning gold at last summer's World Championships in Berlin.

The results of those tests were expected last November but the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced earlier this month Semenya's case had not been concluded.

That has clearly been a source of increasing frustration for the 19-year-old and yesterday's statement was, interestingly, released just hours after Athletics South Africa (ASA) said Semenya would not compete until the case was resolved.

The IAAF declined to comment on the statement but could well view it as an attempt to hurry them into a decision.

Semenya's statement read: "I am an athlete first and foremost and it is vital for my competitiveness, my wellbeing and for my preparations for events during the European summer that I measure my performance against other athletes.

"I have constantly taken advice from an esteemed panel of medical and legal professionals and other parties who are close to me. I am of the firm view that there is no impediment to me competing in athletics competitions.

"I will, however, continue to assist the IAAF with whatsoever they may require for their own processes and in this regard I have instructed my legal and medical team to work closely with them.

"I hereby publicly announce my return to athletics competitions."

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