IAAF Clears Caster Semenya To Compete

  • By Mario Fraioli
  • Published Jul. 6, 2010
Photo courtesy of

Gender tests result in reinstatement of women’s 800-meter world champion.

The International Association of Athletics Federation said in a release on its website on Tuesday that it “accepts the conclusion of a panel of medical experts that she can compete with immediate effect” in the controversial case of South African 800-meter world champion Caster Semenya. The organization also stated that “medical details of her case remain confidential and the IAAF will have no further comment on the matter.”

Semenya came under harsh criticism from her competitors, opposing coaches and fans after her rapid improvement last summer and dominating performance at the World Championships in Berlin, where she ran a world-leading 1:55.45 in winning the women’s 800 meters. In the months before those world championships, Semenya took nearly seven seconds off her 800-meter personal best. Tuesday’s announcement ends months of speculation regarding the gender of the 19-year old, who has not competed since last summer’s championships.

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Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli is a senior editor at Competitor magazine. A cross-country All-American at Stonehill College in 2003, he now coaches the Prado Women's Racing Team in San Diego and was the men's marathon coach for Costa Rica's 2012 Olympic team. His first book, The Official Rock 'n' Roll Guide To Marathon & Half-Marathon Training (VeloPress, 2013) is available in bookstores, running shops and online.

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