Caster Semenya

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Caster Semenya listed for first track meet since June

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Caster Semenya is listed as entered in a track meet for the first time since a July court ruling barred her from racing her best events.

Semenya will race a 300m in South Africa on Friday, according to meet organizers. Semenya’s team has not responded to requests for comment, though her social media accounts reposted the meet’s promotional posts with photos of her.

“Back in business,” was posted on Semenya’s social media with an illustration of a race bib with her last name on it.

Semenya can enter a 300m without taking testosterone-suppressing measures. The new World Athletics rule that prohibits Semenya and others spans from the 400m through the mile.

Semenya, the Olympic 800m champion, and the other two Rio 800m medalists have said they are affected by the new rule instituted last year. Semenya’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was unsuccessful.

Semenya previously signed with a South African soccer club with the intent to play competitive matches in 2020. She played the sport in her youth before becoming a world champion in 2009 at age 18.

It remains to be seen if she will still play soccer this year. Or if she will race more on the track. The 300m is not on the Olympic program, but the 200m is. Semenya raced one 200m last year, clocking 24.26 seconds in February, well off the Olympic qualifying standard of 22.80.

Semenya has won 31 straight 800m races dating to 2015, the last coming June 30 at the Pre Classic.

MORE: Tonga flag bearer enters Olympic qualifier with new challenge

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Transgender track and field athletes now face same standard that has kept out Caster Semenya

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Transgender athletes will have to reduce their testosterone level to the same level applied to Caster Semenya and other athletes with Differences of Sex Development (DSD), under a new policy enacted by World Athletics (formerly the IAAF).

As with DSD athletes, the threshold for middle-distance runners has been lowered from 10 nanomoles per liter to 5.

“These Regulations have been drafted to align with the Eligibility Regulations for the Female Classification (Athletes with Differences of Sex Development) and include updates to reflect current medical standards and the legal framework,” World Athletics said in announcing the latest IAAF Council decisions.

The IAAF claimed a similar basis in medical standards last year when it announced its updated policy on DSD athletes: “No female would have serum levels of natural testosterone at 5 nmol/L or above unless they have DSD or a tumour.”

Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion at 800 meters, challenged that limit in the Court of Arbitration for Sport but lost her case in May. Given a brief reprieve by a Swiss court, she ran the fastest 800-meter time of the year (1:54.98), but a higher court overruled her appeal. She did not compete in the recent world championships.

MORE: Semenya laments lack of support

Another athlete affected by the DSD policy, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Margaret Wambui, told the Olympic Channel she was struggling to find a new direction after the rule was passed.

“It affected me a lot,” Wambui said. “I didn’t want to train or do anything. …

“Caster has fought for us. She has done her level best. She has tried, but we failed.”

VIDEO: Wambui: “No one chose to be born the way they are”

Transgender athletes have not yet been prominent in international track and field, though controversies have arisen at other levels, particularly in a Connecticut case in which high school athletes filed a Title IX complaint after losing to transgender athletes. The athletes who filed the claim said they were potentially at a disadvantage in terms of earning college scholarships.

The new World Athletics policy insists that its stipulations for transgender athletes are actually generous. “The decision limit also takes into consideration that, for clinical purposes, the Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline for Endocrine Treatment of Gender-Dysphoric/Gender-Incongruent Persons recommends that transgender females should have serum testosterone levels of less than 50 ng/dL (i.e. approximately 1.7 nmol/L).”

But while DSD and transgender athletes face different issues, Semenya and other DSD athletes have set a precedent by withdrawing from competition rather than bring their levels down to the 5 nmol/L standard. In CAS proceedings, Semenya said she experienced regular fevers, night sweats, significant weight gain and constant abdominal pain while taking medication to meet the previous standard of 10 nmol/L.

The International Olympic Committee also put a 10 nmol/L limit in place for both transgender and DSD athletes in 2015. Some athletes have complained that transgender athletes still have an unfair advantage under that policy.

The World Athletics policy also addresses transgender men, granting them permission to take regulated testosterone supplements to bring levels within a typical range for men.

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Caster Semenya will not attend world championships to receive gold medal

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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.

MORE: Michael Norman says no 200m-400m double for Olympics

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