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Articles tagged #Caster Semenya
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Caster Semenya has signed with South African soccer team Janine van Wyk Football Club

Caster Semenya, the reigning world and Olympic 800m champion, has signed with South African soccer team Janine van Wyk Football Club (JVW FC). The announcement follows the Swiss Court ruling that Semenya won’t be allowed to compete at the upcoming World Championships in the 800m.

The Swiss Court initially struck down the IAAF’s May 2019 ruling that forced Semenya to either suppress her testosterone levels or switch events from the 800m.  This initially allowed Semenya to continue competing, but the Swiss Court overturned its own decision this several weeks ago, once again barring Semenya from competition.

Semenya told the New York Times, “I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all the female athletes concerned.”

According to the IAAF ruling, Semenya is not allowed to compete at any event from the 400m through the mile, considering she has adamantly refused to lower her testosterone to 5 nmol/L, the maximum allowed under the IAAF’s testosterone rule.

Semenya has been fighting for her place on the 800m start line for nearly a decade now. She wrote on social media on Friday that she’s excited for a new journey, which suggests that she could be leaving the track world behind.

According to Sowetan Live, Semenya won’t be able to compete for the soccer team in the 2019 season as the transfer window is closed, but that she will continue to train with the team in preparation for next year. The track world champion started training last Tuesday.

(09/06/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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A Swiss court overturned its own ruling, disqualifying Caster Semenya from the upcoming World Championship 800m in Doha

Caster Semenya is unable to defend her World Championship title this fall in the 800m. A June ruling indicated that Semenya would be able to compete in her primary event, but that ruling has been overturned by the Swiss Court.

Semenya’s initial appeal, which was considered by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, was filed based on “fundamental human rights,” claiming CAS’s decision “condones the IAAF’s requirements for unnecessary and unwanted hormonal drug interventions on female athletes despite the lack of any medical protocols and the uncertain health consequences of such interventions.”

Semenya went on to proclaim that “The IAAF will not drug me or stop me from being who I am.”

The Swiss Court initially struck down the IAAF’s ruling and allowed Semenya to continue competing, but overturned its own decision this week. Semenya told the New York Times, “I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all the female athletes concerned.”

According to the IAAF ruling, Semenya is not allowed to compete at any event from the 400m through the mile, considering she has adamantly refused to lower her testosterone to 5 nmol/L, the maximum allowed under the IAAF’s testosterone rule. There’s a chance Semenya could choose to attempt to qualify for Worlds at another event, but she will not be in the 800m field.

Semenya has run the fastest 800m in the world this season (1:54.98) and was looking like a lock for the World Championship title.

(07/30/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Nike has launched a video starring Caster Semenya that calls for acceptance and echoes its recent films featuring Raheem Sterling, Colin Kaepernick and Serena Williams

The Olympic 800m champion recently won a legal battle with the athletics governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, after it had banned the middle-distance runner unless she took hormone-suppressant medicine to control her testosterone levels.

Semenya has naturally elevated testosterone levels as a result of a condition known as hyperandrogenism and had lost a landmark legal case against the IAAF, something that she successfully appealed in the Swiss supreme court.

Nike's film promotes Athlete in Progress – a women's apparel collection by Off-White designer Virgil Abloh that debuted in September 2018 in Paris.

It follows Semenya running through the streets of Johannesburg in her native South Africa, talking about inspiring progress on and off the track. The theme centres on respect, love and acceptance.

Semenya closes with the powerful words: "I have learned to appreciate people for who they are, but first it comes with me appreciating myself and loving myself."

She has accused the IAAF of using her body "as a human guinea pig experiment" and has received support from the South African government and several global sports bodies, including the International Working Group on Women & Sport, WomenSport International and International Association of Physical Education for Girls and Women.

However, not everyone has stuck in her corner. British distance-running legend Paula Radcliffe has been a vocal supporter of the IAAF's position, while noting it was unfair on Semenya.

(07/03/2019) ⚡AMP
by Arvind Hickman
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South African Caster Semenya ran the fastest 800m ever run on American soil at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford clocking 1:55.7

Caster Semenya was almost four seconds ahead of Americans Ajee Wilson and Raevyn Rogers, who crossed the line in season’s best times of 1:58.36 and 1:58.65. This was Caster’s 31st straight victory over this distance clocking 1:55.7 and the fastest time ever on US soil.  

Semenya continues to race well despite the controversy surrounding the IAAF’s efforts to prevent her from racing without taking medication to lower her naturally-high testosterone, something she has consistently said she will not do.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal ruled that she must be allowed to race while it is considering her appeal of the IAAF’s testosterone rule, upheld in a May 1 ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In other results, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands won the women’s 3,000m in a new European record of 8:18.49, in a race that also featured Konstanze Klosterhalfen (who finished second with a new PB of 8:20.07), Genzebe Dibaba (fourth, with a new PB of 8:21.29) and World Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri(who finished sixth).

Also on Sunday, Canada’s Mo Ahmed set a new personal best of 8:15.76 in the 2-mile event, good enough for fourth place. Justyn Knight finished ninth, in 8:19.75. The race was won by World Cross Country champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda in a world-leading time of 8:07.54. Ahmed broke his own Canadian 5,000m record at the Oslo Diamond League last month.

(07/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Your guide to this year's Prefontaine Classic

The Prefontaine Classic relocated, temporarily, and it brought the best fields of the Diamond League season with it to Stanford, California on Sunday June 30.

That includes the world’s fastest man and woman this year (Christian Coleman and Elaine Thompson), the athlete who has made the most worldwide headlines this season (Caster Semenya) and a bevy of other reigning Olympic and world champions.

Notably, Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia and Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon will compete for the first time since 2017. World 100m champions Justin Gatlin and Tori Bowie are in their first Diamond League meets in more than one year. It’s the first Diamond League in two years for 2008 Olympic 400m champ LaShawn Merritt. It’s also the first race of 2019 for Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz.

NBC and NBC Sports Gold air live coverage Sunday from 1-3 p.m. Pacific.

The Pre Classic has been held annually since 1975 in Eugene, Ore. But Hayward Field’s reconstruction ahead of the 2020 Olympic Trials forced a move to Cobb Track and Angell Field at Stanford.

Here are the Pre Classic entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Pacific):

Here are 10 events to watch:

Men’s Pole Vault — 12:43 p.m.The Big Three of the event meet for the first time this season: 2012 Olympic champion and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France, 2017 World champion Sam Kendricksand 2018 and 2019 world leader Mondo Duplantis of Sweden, who just turned pro after his freshman year at LSU. Lavillenie has competed just once this season due to injury. Duplantis was beaten at NCAAs by Chris Nilsen (also in the Pre field). But Kendricks has been hot, winning the first three Diamond League pole vaults this season (though Lavillenie and Nilsen weren’t in any of those fields and Duplantis just one).

Women’s High Jump — 1:08 p.m.U.S. champion Vashti Cunningham takes another crack at Russian Mariya Lasitskene, who has just two losses in the last three years. Cunningham is 0-7 versus Lasitskene but has this spring already bettered her top clearance of 2018. Lasitskene, though, appears in top form after taking three attempts at a world record 2.10 meters in Ostrava last week.

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase — 1:11 p.m.Six of the eight fastest in history, headlined by world gold and silver medalists Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs. The only time either Coburn or Frerichs won a steeple that included any of the four fastest Kenyans in history was at those 2017 Worlds. Another chance Sunday.

Women’s 100m — 1:27 p.m.NCAA champion Sha’Carri Richardson would have been the favorite here in her pro debut if not for what happened Friday. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a two-time Olympic 100m champion, clocked her fastest time in six years (10.73 seconds) to become the fastest mom in history and No. 2 in the world this year behind Rio gold medalist Elaine Thompson. Also watch reigning world champ Tori Bowie, who is coming back from a quad tear and coaching change.

Women’s 800m — 1:47 p.m.Caster Semenya races her trademark event for the first time since a Swiss Supreme Court ruled her eligible while it deliberates on her appeal against a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision to uphold an IAAF rule capping testosterone in women’s events from the 400m through the mile. The Swiss court ruling applies only to Semenya and not the other Rio Olympic medalists, Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui, who are also affected by the new rule. So Semenya’s closest threat at Pre is American record holder Ajeé Wilson, but Semenya has won 30 straight 800m races dating to 2015.

Men’s Shot Put — 2:01 p.m.Olympic champion Ryan Crouser had a sterling record at Hayward Field, taking NCAA, Pre Classic and Olympic Trials titles. He’s pretty strong in California, too, recording his personal best (22.74 meters) in Long Beach in April. Nobody has been within a foot and a half of that this season, but the last two world champions (New Zealand’s Tom Walsh and American Joe Kovacs) will try to snap his undefeated 2019 on Sunday.

Men’s 400m — 2:19 p.m.Lost some sizzle with the withdrawal of 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James, who has missed time with Graves’ disease and, more recently, his mother’s death. Instead, the three fastest Americans of the last decade line up — 2018 and 2019 world leader Michael Norman (43.45 from April 20), 2017 world No. 2 Fred Kerley and 2008 Olympic championLaShawn Merritt.

Women’s 200m — 2:25 p.m.Strongest sprint field of the meet: 2016 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, 2015 and 2017 World champion Dafne Schippers and 2018 world leader Dina Asher-Smith. Should produce the fastest time in the world this year, which is currently 22.16, and the favorite for world champs.

Men’s 100m — 2:39 p.m.Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman go head-to-head for the first time since the 2017 Worlds, where Gatlin took gold, Usain Bolt silver and Coleman bronze. Coleman is the world’s fastest man this Olympic cycle (9.79) and this year (9.85). Gatlin, 37, hasn’t broken 10 seconds since beating Bolt but has a bye to defend his title in Doha in September.

Men’s Mile — 2:51 p.m.Olympic 1500m champ Matthew Centrowitz races on the track for the first time since July 22, eyeing his first win in the Pre mile in his sixth try. The foes are formidable, including the top two milers since Rio — Kenyans Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi — Norwegian brothers Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha, who on March 3 broke the 22-year-old indoor mile world record. Nobody has been within four seconds of the outdoor mile word record (Hicham El Guerrouj‘s 3:43.13 in 1999) since 2007.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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South Africa’s Caster Semenya has switched from the 3000m to 800m event at the Prefontaine Classic

“Caster’s representation requested that she be moved from the 3,000 metres (where she was originally entered) to the 800 metres, and we are happy to comply,” Prefontaine Classic meet director Tom Jordan said in a statement.

The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland last week rejected the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) bid to impose the female eligibility regulations immediately on Semenya.

The ruling meant Semenya was allowed to compete without taking any testosterone-lowering medication. The 28-year-old, however, was still not allowed to race in the women’s 800m event in Rabat on June 16 initially.

The double Olympic 800m champion was given permission to run the 800m too late for her to adequately prepare and make travel arrangements - meaning she could not take up the invite to compete.

(06/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Impressive International field will be racing at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford

World 5000m and cross-country champion Hellen Obiri will be making her sixth appearance at the Prefontaine Classic. She set meeting records at 1500m in 2013 and 2014, then won the 5000m in 2016.

The Kenyan, who won the 5000m IAAF Diamond League title in 2018, is undefeated this year and won the 3000m at the opening leg of the IAAF Diamond League in Doha earlier this month in a world-leading 8:25.60.

Multiple world record-holder and five-time world indoor champion Genzebe Dibaba has won all three of her past Pre Classic appearances and her 14:19.76 victory in 2015 is the fastest 5000m ever run in the US.

Sifan Hassan won the 1500m Diamond League trophy in 2015 and followed it with world indoor gold over the same distance in 2016. The Dutch athlete is one of the most versatile runners in history, boasting an 800m PB of 1:56.81 and a half marathon PB of 1:05:15. She also holds the European 5000m record and the world 5km record.

Olympic 10,000m champion and world record-holder Almaz Ayana will be competing in the US for the first time. The Ethiopian won the 2015 world 5000m title, 2016 5000m Diamond Trophy and 2017 world 10,000m title, but missed all of last year with a knee injury.

Obiri, Dibaba, Ayana and Hassan are among the seven fastest women of all time at 5000m, but this will be the first time they have all raced one another at any distance.

The addition of world and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya adds further interest. Although she has contested the distance in low-key domestic races in South Africa, this will be her first international 3000m race.

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey and Senbere Teferi, ranked eighth and ninth respectively on the world 5000m all-time list, are also in the field. Gidey is a two-time world U20 cross-country champion, while Teferi earned world silver medals at 5000m and cross country in 2015.

The field also includes two-time Ethiopian champion Fantu Worku, versatile Kenyan Caroline Chepkoech Kipkurui, world U20 cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet, 2017 world cross-country bronze medallist Lilian Kasait Rengeruk, double European indoor silver medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen, 2016 European 5000m and 10,000m champion Yasmin Can, European 1500m bronze medallist Laura Weightman, six-time NCAA champion Karissa Schweizer and USA’s Rachel Schneider.

(05/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Caster Semenya is going to run the 3000m at the Pre Classic, a distance she can race without reducing her testosterone levels

South African's Caster Semenya is scheduled to compete in the 3,000m at the Diamond League's Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California on June 30.  This is a distance she can race without reducing her testosterone levels, however it is not really her distance at least not at this point.

Semenya, who has won two Olympic gold medals over 800m, has made it very clear that she will not take medication to lower her testosterone levels to comply with the new IAAF rules.

This race will be her first since the new rules went into effect.

Under the new regulations, female athletes with high natural levels of testosterone wishing to compete in events from 400m to a mile must medically limit that level to under 5 nmol/L, double the normal female range of below 2 nmol/L.

Barring an appeal, Semenya can no longer compete in her specialist event after she lost her appeal against the new rules, stating that the regulations were necessary to ensure fair competition.

Semenya will be part of a world class field at the Prefontaine Classic that includes world 5,000-metres champion Hellen Obiri, 2016 world indoor 1,500-metres champion Sifan Hassan, and 2018 world indoor 1,500 and 3,000-metres champion Genzebe Dibaba.

“It was a request from Caster Semenya’s agent asking if she could run a 3,000,” meet director Tom Jordan told Reuters. “Of course we said yes.”

Semenya became South African national champion over 5,000m in April, but her time is way off the leading runners in the world over that distance.

Semenya has a personal best of 9:36 for 3,000m, the slowest in the field.  Dibaba is the quickest in the field with a best of 8:16. 

The South African’s last race over 800 meters was in the Diamond League in Doha on May 3, when she cruised to victory in 1:54.98, nearly three seconds ahead of Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba.

“I’m a crazy athlete, 800 meters is my calling, I believe in it, and that’s what I want to do,” she said after winning in Doha.

“I will switch races when I want to — no man can tell me what to do. I’m here for a purpose, if I want to switch events I switch them, but if someone wants me to switch them, that’s their own problem, not mine."

The Prefontaine Classic is being staged in Stanford, California this year while a new stadium is built in Eugene, Oregon for the 2021 world championships.

(05/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Allyson Felix, the most decorated woman in Olympic track and field history, spoke out in support of Caster Semenya

Felix reacted to the IAAF rule change capping testosterone levels for athletes in women’s events between the 400m and mile, conversing with Julie Foudy on the Olympic soccer champion’s podcast, Laughter Permitted.

Semenya, the two-time Olympic 800m champion on a three-year win streak, has said she is being specifically targeted by the rule change.

The South African challenged the new rules but lost a decision, nearly a decade since word leaked that track officials mandated she undergo gender-verification testing after she won the world 800m title by 2.45 seconds at age 18.

“I’ve been disappointed from the beginning, of just how everything has been handled,” Felix said of her fellow Nike-sponsored runner. “I just think that it’s not OK. I stand with Caster. She’s a friend of mine. I just think that no one should have to go through what she’s had to go through. Not just in this moment. From the beginning of when she started competing. So I think it’s a very, very complex issue. … But I just think that it has been mishandled from the start.”

Barring another appeal, and one that is successful, it’s unknown if or when Semenya will be able to compete in her best races again.

Felix is glad that she’s not making the decision in a case that has been fiercely debated for years.

“There has to be something, or there should have already been something in place when you’re dealing with athletes with differences or intersex athletes. I don’t know. It’s challenging,” she said. “We’re talking about human beings. This is a person. To have all of this play out the way that it has, it makes me cringe to think of her dealing with this. This has been for 10 years now. I just feel like there is a better way.”

Felix also reiterated that she’s going for what would be her fifth Olympics in 2020 — “this last one and enjoy the whole ride.” Her daughter, Camryn, is now five months old after being born eight weeks premature and spending her first month in the NICU.

(05/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya, who lost her appeal over a controversial gender ruling, will not race at this month's Diamond League meeting in Stockholm

The South African, 28, who won gold in Rio in 2016 and London four years earlier will not lineup for the 800m after winning her most recent appearance over the distance in Doha on May 3.

Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba and Kenya's Margaret Nyairera Wambui, who are among the star female athletes affected by the International Association of Athletics Federation's (IAAF) ruling this month and who completed the Olympic podium in Brazil will also not race in Sweden.

Wambui said on Thursday her future was uncertain due to the IAAF's decision.

Semenya's case has provoked a furious debate across sport around the globe about gender and "hyperandrogenic" athletes, those with "differences of sexual development" (DSD).

The decision on May 1 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, means female athletes with elevated testosterone will have to take suppressive treatment if they wish to compete as women in certain events.

South Africa's government on Monday said it would lodge an appeal against the IAAF's decision which came into operation on May 8 and applies to distances from 400m to a mile, and includes the heptathlon.

"The onus is on the athletes to ensure they do not agree to attend track meets or put themselves forward for events they are not eligible to compete in," Stockholm meet director Jan Kowalski said.

"If they do compete in events for which they are not eligible, then - consistent with the approach taken in any case of athlete ineligibility - their results may be disqualified and any medals, points, or prize money forfeited," Kowalski added.

That leaves world bronze medallist Ajee Wilson from the US as the highest ranked runner in the women's 800m in Stockholm.

(05/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Caster Semenya says she won't take hormone-reducing medication

Caster Semenya was defiant in every way at what could be her last 800-meter race.

With her raised fist at the start. With her unstoppable victory. With her reply Friday to the big question of whether she will submit to new testosterone regulations in track and field and take hormone-reducing medication.

"Hell, no," the Olympic champion from South Africa said.

Semenya responded to her defeat in a landmark court case against track and field's governing body two days earlier with a resounding win in a place where she has done nothing but win the past four years -- over two laps of the track.

She won the 800 meters at the opening Diamond League meeting of the season in Doha, Qatar, with a meet record of 1 minute, 54.98 seconds. It was her fourth-fastest time ever. The only person ahead of her at any time during the race was the pacemaker.

Semenya's nearest challenger, Olympic silver medalist Francine Niyonsaba, was nearly three seconds and about 20 meters behind her -- barely in the picture. Ajee Wilson of the United States was third.

It was Semenya's first 800-meter race this year and first since she lost her case against the IAAF this week.

"Actions speak louder than words," Semenya told the BBC. "When you are a great champion, you always deliver."

Friday's win was her 30th straight in the 800, continuing a run that started in late 2015. But Semenya's four-year dominance over two laps might be at an end.

It would be an end brought not by another competitor but by new regulations set to come into effect Wednesday. They require the South African star and other female athletes with high levels of natural testosterone to medically lower them to be eligible to compete in events ranging from the 400 meters to the mile.

Semenya failed to overturn those rules in her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Now her career appears to be at a crossroad: Does she take medication to lower her testosterone? The medication probably would inhibit her athletic performance and could blunt her dominance. Or does she switch events and run in long-distance races not affected by the regulations?

She was emphatic when she told reporters after Friday's race that she wouldn't take the medication.

"That's an illegal method," she said.

Semenya didn't give a clear idea of what she would do next. She said she wouldn't move up to the 5,000 meters, and she wouldn't retire.

"God has decided my career. God will end my career," she said in the BBC interview. "No man, or any other human, can stop me from running. How am I going to retire when I'm 28? I still feel young, energetic. I still have 10 years or more in athletics.

(05/07/2019) ⚡AMP
by ESPN News Services
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Caster Semenya loses her battle with the IAAF but is considering an appeal

South African 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya is considering an appeal after losing her landmark legal case against athletics’ governing body, the IAAF, in a decision that could end her career as an elite athlete.

The ruling by the court of arbitration for Sport means that Semenya, who has not been beaten over 800m since 2015, will have to take medication to significantly reduce her testosterone if she wants to run internationally at events between 400m and a mile.

The sports scientist Ross Tucker, who was part of Semenya’s team of experts at Cas, believes it will mean the South African could run the 800m in around seven seconds slower – turning her from a world-beater into an also-ran at that event. However the indications are that she may decide to step up to the 5,000m, where the IAAF’s new rules regarding athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) do not apply.

The surprise verdict was announced by the court of arbitration for sport on Wednesday after three arbitrators had spent more than two months deliberating over the complex and highly contentious case.

Announcing its ruling, Cas agreed that the IAAF’s policy was “discriminatory” to athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) such as Semenya. However two of three arbitrators accepted the IAAF’s argument that high testosterone in female athletes confers significant advantages in size, strength and power from puberty onwards, and said the policy was “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to ensure fair competition in women’s sport.

It means that all DSD athletes, who are usually born with internal testes, will have to reduce their testosterone to below five nmol/L for at least six months if they want to compete internationally all distances from 400m to a mile. The IAAF, which welcomed the news, said its policy would come into place on 8 May.

Semenya was expected to be a cornerstone of the SA athletics team that will compete at the IAAF’s world championships in Doha from September 28 to October 6‚ and the Tokyo Olympics next year from July 24 to August 9.

(05/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba also has the hyperandrogenism condition that gives her high levels of naturally occurring testosterone

The woman who finished second behind Caster Semenya at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics says she also has a condition that gives her high levels of naturally occurring testosterone and would be affected if the IAAF implements its hormone policy.

Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, an Olympic and world championships silver medallist in the 800 metres, said in an interview with the Olympic Channel that she has hyperandrogenism.

She says "I didn't choose to be born like this. What am I? I'm created by god. So, if someone has more questions about it, maybe they can ask god. I love myself. I will still be Francine. I will not change."

(04/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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The Court of Arbitration for Sport has now said a decision in the case of Semenya will now be announced at the end of April

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has decided to put off a decision in the case of South African 800m runner Caster Semenya until the end of April, with no date specified.

The CAS had originally said its decision would be made public on March 26, six months before the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, which start on September 28.

The IAAF’s new rules on male hormone levels in female athletes were to take effect on November 1, 2019, but are suspended pending the CAS’s decision. No reason was given for the delay.

The case involves the IAAF’s new rules regarding levels of male hormones in female athletes born with differences of sexual development (DSD) competing at distances shorter than the mile.

If the CAS rules in favor of the IAAF, athletes like Semenya would either have to take medication to bring her natural hormone levels down, move up in distance, or compete against men.

(03/22/2019) ⚡AMP
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University of Colorado researchers say, testosterone levels for female athletes are based On Flawed Science

New regulations requiring certain female athletes to medically lower their testosterone levels in order to compete internationally are based on “fatally flawed” data, according to new research led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The paper, published recently in the Asser International Sports Law Journal, comes just as South African Olympian Caster Semenya is set to challenge the controversial new rules in an international court in Switzerland.

The authors have called for a retraction of the original research and asked the International Association of Athletics Federations – the global governing body for track and field – to reconsider the rule change.

“In almost any other setting of science, errors of this magnitude would lead to a paper being retracted,” said lead author Roger Pielke Jr., director of the Center for Sports Governance at CU Boulder.

“And it certainly would not be the basis for broad regulations that have a profound impact on people’s lives.”

In April 2018, the IAAF announced new regulations requiring certain female athletes with naturally high testosterone levels to take testosterone-lowering hormones if they want to continue to compete in the women’s category for the 400-meter, the 400-meter hurdles, the 800-meter, the 1,500-meter and the mile.

The rule, which applies to IAAF-sanctioned international competitions, requires that they maintain serum testosterone levels below 5 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) for at least six months prior to competition.  Most females have testosterone levels ranging from 1.12 to 1.79 nmol/L while the normal adult male range is 7.7 – 29.4 nmol/L. About seven in every 1,000 elite female athletes have high testosterone levels, according to IAAF.

The association had attempted to put forth similar regulations in 2011 , but that rule was thrown out when the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – the highest court for international sport – concluded in 2015 that there was a lack of evidence linking high testosterone to “a real competitive advantage” in women.

(02/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF battle with Olympic 800m Champion Caster Semenya saying she should be classified as a biological male

South Africa's world and Olympic 800 metres champion Caster Semenya is challenging a proposed new rule brought in by the IAAF which, if upheld, would force her to either take medication to reduce her testosterone levels or compete against men.

Semenya has called the rule - which only affects athletes competing in events between 400m and the mile - unfair, and the case is due to be heard at the CAS in Lausanne next week.

The British newspaper The Times had claimed that when the case begins, the IAAF will argue Semenya is a biological male.

The newspaper stated lawyers for the IAAF are preparing to argue that the 28-year-old two-time Olympic champion and other athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) should be treated as female but are in fact biologically male.

The lawyers will argue therefore, the paper claimed, that such athletes should take testosterone suppressants before competing in middle distance events in order to level the playing field.

In response the IAAF released a statement saying it is not classifying any athletes with Semenya's condition as male.

"To the contrary, we accept their legal sex without question, and permit them to compete in the female category," they said.

They did stick to their original position, though, saying that to allow DSD athletes to compete against women with normal testosterone levels unchecked would be unfair.

"If a DSD athlete has testes and male levels of testosterone, they get the same increases in bone and muscle size and strength and increases in haemoglobin that a male gets when they go through puberty, which is what gives men such a performance advantage over women," they said.

"Therefore, to preserve fair competition in the female category, it is necessary to require DSD athletes to reduce their testosterone down to female levels before they compete at international level."

Previously, the IAAF claimed athletes such as Semenya competing against women is comparable to adults competing against children, so significant is the perceived advantage. 

Semenya's lawyers have also responded to the piece in The Times, saying the South African is "unquestionably a woman".

They also responded to quotes attributed to the IAAF's lawyer Jonathan Taylor, who reportedly said that if the CAS rules in Semenya's favour, "then DSD and transgender athletes will dominate the podiums and prize money in sport", saying her situation cannot be compared to that of transgender athletes. 

"There are different regulations for DSD athletes and transgender athletes," they say in a statement.

"Ms Semenya respects the rights and interests of transgender athletes around the world.

"Her case however, is about the rights of women such as Ms Semenya, who are born as women, reared and socialised as women, who have been legally recognised as women for their entire lives, who have always competed in athletics as women and who should be permitted to compete in the female category without discrimination."

The proposed rule has caused significant controversy since it was first put forward by the IAAF and has been criticised by human rights experts from the United Nations who called it "unjustifiable". 

(02/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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For the third year in a row, Caster Semenya went undefeated in the 800 meters

For the third year in a row, Caster Semenya went undefeated in the 800 meters. And though there was no global championship to cap it off, this was her most impressive year yet as she broke 1:56 five times and broke 1:55 three times (after never having broken 1:55 prior to 2018).

Only one woman in history had ever accomplished either of those feats: Pamela Jelimo, who broke 1:55 four times and 1:56 eight times during the 2008 season.

One of the reasons Semenya ran faster in 2018 was that, more so than in previous years, she chose to cut loose and chase times rather than solely concentrating on wins.

At the Diamond Leagues in Paris and Monaco and the Continental Cup in Ostrava, Semenya — running without a pacemaker — went out hard from the gun and was rewarded with the three fastest times of her life, including a sparkling 1:54.25 PR in Paris that ranks her fourth on the all-time list.

For much of her career, Semenya from South Africa has faced criticism for “sandbagging” — she made winning look so easy that some thought she was intentionally holding back. Maybe a (very fast) pacemaker could have helped her this year, but the Semenya we saw in 2018 was one that pushed herself to her limits.

The question now becomes: have we seen the last of this version of Caster Semenya? The IAAF announced that it will be implementing new eligibility regulations for the female classification that include testosterone limits for women in events between 400 and the mile (the events that Semenya just so happens to run).

Semenya challenged the ruling, with a decision due by the Court of Arbitration for Sport due in March. That decision will determine the future of the women’s 800, because it has become clear over the last three years that, as things stand, no non intersex or transgender woman is beating Caster Semenya.

(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Shelby Houlihan surges past three contenders to win the 1500m while Semenya placed sixth

Shelby Houlihan of the US ran a new PR and set a meet record in the 1,500m at Lausanne Diamond League today, with the UK’s Laura Muir finishing second and the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan third. Houlihan clocked 3:57.54. Caster Semenya of South Africa was well back, finishing sixth, with a time of 4:00.44. It was the third straight 1,500m win for Houlihan, an Olympic 5,000m runner who is having an incredible outdoor season in 2018, winning the 1,500m at both the Prefontaine Classic on May 26 and the USATF Outdoor Championships on June 23. Semenya holds South Africa’s national record in the event (3:59.92, set at Doha Diamond League in May). She won the 800m and set a new PB, without benefit of a pace rabbit, at Paris Diamond League on June 30 (07/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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Caster Semenya should not be obliged to alter her body to compete after November 1

The double Olympic and triple world 800 metres champion faces having to take medication to lower her higher than normal levels of naturally-produced testosterone, which the sport's governing IAAF has deemed gives her an unfair advantage. Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright said in a statement that the legal challenge would be filed on Monday at the CAS in Lausanne. "Ms Semenya, like all athletes, is entitled to compete the way she was born without being obliged to alter her body by any medical means," Norton Rose Fulbright said. Controversy has never been far from the South African, now 27, since her teenage success in the 800m at the 2009 world championships in Berlin, where the pure power of her surge to victory sparked question marks about her sexuality. Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin, which affects endurance. The IAAF rule, which comes into force on Nov. 1, is not directly aimed at Semenya but she will be most affected by it. (06/19/2018) ⚡AMP
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Science has never fully backed the IAAF claims that DSD athletes have a massive advantage

The science has never fully backed up the IAAF's claim that so-called DSD athletes have a massive advantage in women's races. In 2012, Indian sprinter Dutee Chand (photo) appealed a similar rule restricting testosterone levels to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The court ruled the regulation was discriminatory and it was suspended. The IAAF was given time to come back and show that elevated testosterone levels result in a male-like advantage of 10 to 12 per cent. The track body's latest research says athletes like Semenya enjoy a "competitive advantage" but still fails to demonstrate that even a 10 per cent edge exists. And the supposed advantage is based on data from a 2018 study that has yet to be published or reviewed. So if the data still doesn't appear to be there, what is this really about? Are there other factors driving Caster Semenya's critics? 'This is a racist, targeted test' Some supporters of Semenya believe two of the factors may be race and geography. They wonder if the IAAF would have pursued Semenya for nearly a decade if she were a white runner from the global North. "All of these [efforts] seem to coincide with the recent dominance by women from Sub-Saharan Africa in certain track and field events, and that wasn't the case before," says Katrina Karkazis, a Stanford University bioethicist who was involved in the Chand case and has written extensively about intersex issues. "That is one way this is racialized. Who is winning those events? Who has won historically?" University of Toronto professor Bruce Kidd is a longtime member of the Olympic movement and was also involved in the Chand case. "They [the IAAF] have identified seven events where they think there is a correlation [between testosterone levels and performance]. Two of them are the pole vault and hammer throw and they have not made them part of this new rule, and those are events that are dominated by white women," Kidd points out. "They have targeted the mile, an event that is currently dominated by black women. And the mile isn't even part of their study. It's hard not to draw the conclusion this is a racist, targeted test." Semenya's success and physical appearance — she appears more muscular than many of her rivals — have drawn attention and doubt from track officials. (05/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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Caster Semenya breaks four minutes for 1500m at IAAF Meet, 30 seconds slower than men

Caster Semenya and Carina Horn struck a blow for South African female athletics when they both breached magical barriers at Friday evening’s Diamond League meeting in Doha. The opening meeting of the 2018 Diamond League series saw Semenya break through four minutes in the 1500m while Horn became the first South African female to dip below 11 seconds in the 100 metres. Semenya stuck it to the IAAF on Friday night when she smashed the South African record she set at the Commonwealth Games last month by clocking a 3:59.92. Semenya could be affected by the new controversial female classification rules the IAAF introduced on April 26 and will go into effect on November 1. The amended regulations will attempt to regulate women who naturally produce testosterone levels above five nanomoles per litre and are limited to athletes that compete in events ranging from the 400m to the mile.  (The men’s world record for 1500m is held by Hicham El Guerrouj of 3:26.00 in Rome in 1998.) (05/08/2018) ⚡AMP
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Should Caster Semenya be forced to lower Testosterone levels to compete in Tokyo?

Caster Semenya is very much in the news lately. We have already published two stories about the new IAAF rule which will require Caster to take testosterone-lowering medication in order to compete on an international level. 

Per the report: "The IAAF, will reportedly announce the creation of a new female classification to be known as Athletes with Differences of Sexual Development, which includes those with Hyperandrogenism, such as Semenya.

"From November 1, 2018, athletes who fit into that classification will be forced to undergo testosterone-lowering treatment."  

Caster was born with this medical condition.  Caster is a South African middle-distance runner and a gold medalist and for sure could easily pass for a man on the outside. 

Last August Caster shared this story about her love story with her wife Violet Raseboya in a TV interview.  "We met in a restroom in 2007. She was a runner and was being escorted by doping officials.

She thought I was a boy and said 'What is a boy doing in here?'" "I'm not a boy. You think I'm lost? You think I can just walk in here?" It took a while for them to start dating and Caster said it was her that told Violet about her feelings for her. 

"We were in denial. She had a past. She had a boyfriend. (She) was trying to deny being in love with a woman"  They got married in 2017.  

This is a tough situation for the IAAF.  Seb Coe just wants the competition to be fair.  However, this is a medical condition a person is born with. Penalizing  an athlete for a natural trait of her body does not seem right.   

(05/01/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Johannesburg's Sports Minister says IAAF new rule is very sexist, racial and homophobic

The Sports and Recreation Minister, Tokozile Xasa in Johannesburg, South Africa believes that Caster Semenya is being targeted by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for her continued success on the track. Semenya made history at the recent Commonwealth Games held on Australia’s Gold Coast by winning gold medals in the 800m and 1 500m races, and setting a new 1 500m record of 4:00.71. Last week, in a surprise decision, the IAAF announced that women athletes who compete in 400m, 800m, 1 500m and mile events, would in future have to take medication that would decrease their natural testosterone levels. Xasa complained that this was a “targeted approach”. “We see this as a targeted approach by the IAAF,” she said. “This new initiative comes after she (Semenya) broke records at the Commonwealth Games. “It is also Africans that are participating in long-distance races, therefore we view it as a target,” the minister said. “To compound the argument, she’s also a woman, hence this becomes sexist. This should have come a long time ago, not only when she wins medals as a way to discourage her. “We take this as very sexist, racial and homophobic. “We are angry and we want the entire country to rally behind us. Since Africans are doing well in these races, there are now a lot of questions that are surrounding them, thus we are very disappointed.” Now in the prime of her career, as a result of her physique, Semenya has also had her sexuality questioned by the IAAF. She has already taken tests for gender traits to check whether she is female or male.  Caster married her longtime girlfriend in January 2017. Same-sex marriage has been legal in South Africa since 2006. (04/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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New IAAF rule might slow Olympic 800m Champion Caster Semenya by seven seconds

The Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya could run up to seven seconds slower under new rules requiring her to lower her natural testosterone levels to race internationally, a prominent sports scientist has predicted. Under rules due to be announced on Thursday morning by the IAAF, the world athletics governing body, a separate female classification for an athlete with differences of sexual development (or DSDs) will be introduced. Such athletes, including Semenya, will have to reduce and then maintain their testosterone levels to no greater than 5nmol/L by November 1 if they want to compete in events ranging from 400 meters to a mile. The IAAF believes its new rules will “preserve fair and meaningful competition in the female classification” because women athletes with high testosterone have an advantage of up to 9% over women with normal levels of testosterone. (04/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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South Africa´s Caster Semenya wanting to win 800m Gold for third time in Tokyo

Caster Semenya’s gender is still pretty much all anyone talks about when they talk about this powerhouse runner, however she was cleared to compete. Today Caster Semenya is looking forward to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where she aims to defend her 800m title and win it for the third and, perhaps, final time. "I’m an athlete who works more on short-term goals. Every month we see how we can improve our fitness, how we can improve our biomechanics and how we can improve our breathing."So, yes, Tokyo, I’m looking forward to it. "I’ll be 29, so it will be probably my last Olympics 800m. But yes, if I can still go faster, you never know where you can end up," Semenya says. (02/15/2018) ⚡AMP
2020 Tokyo Olympics
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Farah, Semenya and Felix among 2018 Laueus Nominees

World champions Mo Farah of Great Britain, South African Caster Semenya and Allyson Felix of the US are among the nominees for the 2018 Laureus world sportsman and sportswoman of the year awards. Other athletics stars among to receive nominations include Australia's 100m hurdles world champion Sally Pearson and 100m gold medallist Justin Gatlin of the US, both in the World comeback of the year category. (01/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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