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South Africa

Semenya to return to athletics

In happier times: Caster Semenya celebrates her gold medal win
In happier times: Caster Semenya celebrates her gold medal win Reuters / Siphiwe Sibeko

The women’s 800m world champion Caster Semenya has announced she will return to racing this season even though athletics' governing body has yet to complete an investigation into her gender. Semenya’s muscular physique and rapid improvement led the IAAF to launch the probe into her gender after she won gold at last year's world championships.

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Leaked test results said the 19-year-old was a hermaphrodite but the South African public and government rallied behind her.

“I hereby publicly announce my return to athletics competitions,” Semenya said in a statement on Tuesday.

“My coach, agent and I will work closely together to identify and prepare for a limited number of athletics meetings over the course of the coming athletics season.”

Semenya has not run in competition since her stunning win at August's World Athletics Championships in Berlin. Her time of one minute 55.45 seconds was almost two and a half seconds faster than defending champion Janeth Jepkosegi, who finished in second.

Shortly afterwards it was announced that she would have to undergo a gender test.

“Unfortunately these processes have dragged on for far too long with no reasonable certainty as to their end,” Semenya said in her statement. “The result is that my athletic capabilities and earning potential are being severely compromised.”

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