IAAF takes Caster Semenya's case off meeting agenda

Submitted by Yomi Omogbeja on 19 November 2009 - 11:07am

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has confirmed that Caster Semenya's case will not be discussed at tomorrow's council meeting in Monaco pending completion of tests on the athlete.

The IAAF said in a statement yesterday that "no further comment will be made on the subject until further notice" as their panel of experts has been studying the results of the sex verification tests Semenya underwent in South Africa and Germany and there are ongoing consultations between the parties concerned.

"The IAAF, the South African Ministry of Sport and Recreation and Caster Semenya's representatives have been and still are in discussions with a view to resolving the issues surrounding Caster Semenya's participation in Athletics.

"The IAAF will not comment upon the medical aspects of Caster Semenya's case. The medical testing of the athlete is still to be completed.

"There will be no discussion of Caster Semenya's case at the forthcoming IAAF Council Meeting to be held in Monaco on 20-21 November 2009," the statement said.

Semenya, 18, who won the women's 800 metres World title with a season's best time of 1minute 55.45 seconds Berlin last summer now faces a further wait over her future in the sport.

In September, two Australian newspapers reported yet unconfirmed leaks that the IAAF had found Semenya was a hermaphrodite without saying where they got the information. The IAAF denied it and maintained that the leaks did not originate from them.

The Athletics South Africa (ASA) President Leonard Chuene and his entire board have also been suspended by the South African Olympic Committee pending disciplinary investigations after first lying and later admitting that ASA had conducted its own gender test before Semenya left for Berlin.

Medal respite

Meanwhile, South Africa's Department of Sport and Recreation has confirmed that Caster Semenya will not be stripped of her title despite the fact she is awaiting the verdict on whether or not she can continue to race as a woman.

"Because Caster has been found to be innocent of any wrong, she will then retain her gold medal, retain her title of 800m world champion, retain her prize money," the department said in a statement.

But, Semenya has still not been cleared to compete as a woman because gender tests have not yet been completed.

The sports ministry also said the results of a test performed on Semenya will be kept confidential.

"We have agreed with the IAAF that whatever scientific tests were conducted legally within the IAAF regulations will be treated as a confidential matter between patient and doctor," the ministry said in a statement.

"As such there will be no public announcement of what the panel of scientists has found. We urge all South Africans and other people to respect this professional ethical and moral way of doing things."