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Caster Semenya Cleared to Run After Gender Test

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By Jason Beahm on July 07, 2010 10:03 AM

South African Caster Semenya has been cleared to return to competition after the International Associate of Athletics Federations ruled that Semenya is a woman. The IAAF had been investigating Semenya's gender for the past year. Semenya was investigated after she won the 800m by a large margin, setting a new world record. Tests allegedly showed that Semenya is a hermaphrodite.

Semenya could make her return at the World Junior Championships in Canada. Semenya, 19, won gold in the 800m at the World Championships in Berlin.

"I am thrilled to enter the global athletics arena once again, and look forward to competing with all the disputes behind me," Semenya said in an interview with the Guardian.

The IAAF gave a statement addressing the inquiry, although it was decidedly vague:

The IAAF accepts the conclusion of a panel of medical experts that she can compete with immediate effect. Please note that the medical details of the case remain confidential and the IAAF will make no further comment on the matter.

Semenya was suspended last year in August after her victory at the world championships, where questions were raised about her gender. At the time, Semenya stated she was unconcerned about the rumors or gender verification. Semenya considered boycotting the medal ceremony at the world championships as a result of the gender inquiry. 

Caster Semenya's lawyers released a statement in which they underline the importance of preventing such indignity befalling an athlete again. The Guardian reports that Jeffrey Kessler, the company's global litigation chairman, said: "We are delighted that Caster is finally being permitted to compete with other women, as is her legal and natural right. Hopefully, this resolution will set a precedent so that no female athlete in the future will have to experience the long delays and public scrutiny which Caster has been forced to endure."

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