*South African track star Caster Semenya may have released a statement announcing her return to the sport in the wake of gender questions and blasting the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for dragging their feet on her status, but it doesn’t mean that
The athlete has been told by Athletics South Africa (ASA) that she still cannot compete until the results of her gender tests, according to multiple reports.
The 19-year-old said Tuesday expressing frustration with the IAAF’s lack of urgency in the matter and announcing expectations that she will race again this summer. But the ASA insisted she must wait for the results, which are expected in June.
Athletics South Africa (ASA) spokesman Richard Stander said: “Caster is a disciplined athlete who is happy to abide by the rules. …She is frustrated that she can’t compete and that is only natural. …But the results of her gender test were only ever going to become available in June.”
“Since my victory in the female 800 meter 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. 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.
“However, notwithstanding the infringement of my rights I have attempted (against all natural instincts to move to assert my rights) to understand and sympathise with the institutional shortcomings within the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). To this end, upon my return from the Berlin World Championships, I instructed my legal advisers to make immediate contact with the IAAF to implore them to make all my medical information in their possession available to me and to meet with my legal advisers for the purposes of resolving what appears to me to be a very simple matter.
“Needless to say, 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. 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 number one female athlete in the world over the female 800 meter event.
“Notwithstanding my reservations about the correctness and moral integrity of the process I underwent prior to, during and after the Berlin World Championships, on the strength of the representation that I had committed no wrongdoing, I begrudgingly committed to assist the IAAF in concluding its processes which I did not agree with. Given that I have rightfully not been disqualified nor suspended from athletics competitions and given also that I expected these processes to be expedited I, on my own volition, resolved not to compete in athletics competitions until these processes had been completed. Unfortunately these processes have dragged on for far too long with no reasonable certainty as to their end.
“The result is that my athletic capabilities and earning potential are being severely compromised. I am an athlete first and foremost and it is vital for my competitiveness, my well being and for my preparations for events during the European summer that I measure my performance against other athletes. I have constantly taken advice from an esteemed panel of medical and legal professionals and other parties who are close to me. I have been privy to and have evaluated all the relevant information they have placed before me including current IAAF rules and policies.
“This information has also been placed in the hands of the IAAF. I am of the firm view that there is no impediment to me competing in athletics competitions. I will however continue to assist the IAAF with whatsoever they may require for their own processes and in this regard I have instructed my legal and medical team to work closely with, and continue negotiation with them for these purposes. I hereby publicly announce my return to athletics competitions. My coach, agent and I will work closely together to identify and prepare for a limited number of athletics meetings over the course of the coming athletics season.”