Caster Semenya reinstated to track and field, can compete immediately

Michael Santo's picture

Caster Semenya, who has been held out of competition since last year over her gender, has been cleared to compete again. She has been sidelined for 11 months after undergoing gender tests following her 800-meter victory at the world championships last August in Berlin.

While the sport's governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said that the medical details of the 19-year-old South African's case remain confidential, past leaked information stated that Caster Semenya had both male and female organs. The information, from stories in Australian media, caused outrage in her home country and led some public officials to voice their support for her.

It's unclear if the information regarding Caster Semenya possibly being a hermaphrodiate is true, but questions about her gender arose due to her performance and her deep voice, as well as other "clues." She dominated the 800-meters at the age of 18, last year.

The IAAF said in a statement, "The process initiated in 2009 in the case of Caster Semenya has now been completed. The IAAF accepts the conclusion of a panel of medical experts that she can compete with immediate effect. The medical details of the case remain confidential and the IAAF will make no further comment on the matter."

Caster Semenya could return to competition as early as the world junior championships in Moncton, New Brunswick, starting on July 19. However, her coach Michael Seme has already said the runner is not "race fit."

While obviously unrelated to the World Cup, this has to give some joy to the South African nation. The country's soccer team was knocked out earlier in the first round, as was the team from Ghana, the only African team to make it out of the opening round.

Written by Michael Santo

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