Caster Semenya will not attend world championships to receive gold medal

AP
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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Caster Semenya is finally getting her gold medal from the 2011 World Championships after Russian Maria Savinova was stripped of the title for doping.

But Semenya won’t attend a medal reallocation ceremony at the world championships in Doha, Qatar, South Africa’s track federation said on Thursday.

Semenya was barred from defending her latest 800m world title in Doha because she has refused to follow new IAAF rules requiring her to medically reduce her natural testosterone level to be allowed to compete in certain races, including her favorite event.

Instead, Athletics South Africa will receive the medal from the world track body on Semenya’s behalf in Doha and decide on an appropriate event to hand the medal to Semenya in South Africa, it said.

The medal reallocation is happening after the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2017 upheld Savinova’s doping ban, nullifying her results from 2010 to 2013. She was also stripped of her 2012 Olympic 800m title. That title has also gone to Semenya, who finished second in that race, too.

Semenya, who has two Olympic and three world 800m titles, has, since July, not been allowed to compete at top-level track meets in distances from 400m to one mile because she refused to take hormone-suppressing medication in line with rules introduced by the IAAF last year.

Semenya challenged the rules twice in court. She lost at the Court of Arbitration for Sport this year, and her second legal appeal is still being considered by the Swiss supreme court.

If she fails in court a second time, Semenya may also be unable to defend her Olympic title next year in Tokyo.

Semenya announced last week she was joining a South African soccer club and will play for it in 2020 but later denied that meant she was retiring from athletics.

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