Semenya must wait longer for test results

Last Updated: Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 23:25

Durban: A decision on women`s world 800 metres champion Caster Semenya`s possible track return has been delayed because the results of her gender tests have not yet been discussed by the International Amateur Athletics Federation, the athlete`s lawyers said.

South Africa`s sports ministry on Thursday cancelled a press conference, which was due to be given by Sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile, at short notice.

South African Semenya, 19, has not run competitively since undergoing gender tests at the Berlin world championships last August.

"We have been advised that the press conference scheduled for this afternoon was cancelled by the minister because the IAAF exco has not received a formal briefing from the medical team," Semenya`s lawyer, Greg Nott of Dewey and LeBoeuf, said in a statement.

"As such it would be pre-emptive to make any announcement before the IAAF exco has considered the matter. Her lawyers respect the decision of the minister."

Semenya`s return to competitive athletics was delayed last month after her comeback event in Zaragoza, Spain was cancelled.
Athletics South Africa has made clear Semenya is not banned from competition but said she must wait for the results of her tests from the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Her lawyers said in April that the tests proved she could run as a female.

Asked to comment on South African television reports that Semenya had been cleared, her agent Jukka Harkonen told Reuters on Wednesday by telephone from Jyvaskyla, Finland: "I cannot say anything".

Semenya came to attention last year with her rapid improvement over 800 metres and her winning time in Berlin of one minute 55.45 seconds was the fastest of 2009.
Australia`s Daily Telegraph, citing an unnamed source, reported last September that Semenya was a hermaphrodite with both male and female sexual organs.

South Africans reacted angrily to the case at the time and the country`s ruling African National Congress denounced the IAAF and ASA for their handling of the matter.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 23:25

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