Caster Semenya vows to return to running, told to wait at Stellenbosch

Embattled South African runner Caster Semenya released a long statement pledging to return to running, but organizers denied the athlete a competitive place today at a meeting in Stellenbosch.

Semenya maintains that her earning potential and athletic abilities have been “severely compromised” because of what she believes is foot dragging on the part of the IAAF. Semenya says:

“Since my victory in the female 800m event at the Berlin world championships in August last year I have been subjected to unwarranted and invasive scrutiny of the most intimate and private details of my being,” said Semenya, who has not raced competitively since.

“Some of the occurrences leading up to and immediately following the Berlin world championships have infringed on not only my rights as an athlete but also my fundamental and human rights, including my rights to dignity and privacy.”

Although the IAAF has not formally banned the athlete, Semenya agreed not to compete after the gender identity scandal broke in late August. She contends that she has waited long enough and cites that she has not been stripped of her winnings or honors:

“After three formal attempts by my legal advisers to make contact with the IAAF on my behalf, the IAAF had still not responded to my overtures. I requested my legal advisers to prevail upon the government to open negotiations with the IAAF by sending an emissary to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement of this matter,” she said.

“The outcome of that lengthy process was the pronouncement that I was not guilty of any wrongdoing or cheating and that I was entitled to keep my gold medal, my prize money (which has now been paid to me) and my ranking as the No1 female athlete in the world over the female 800m event.”

The full text of Caster Semenya’s statement can be read here.