Semenya takes ruling in stride

2010-07-11 11:01

Caster Semenya says she did not undergo any operation or ­treatment to facilitate her long-awaited return to competition.

“There was no operation carried out on me or anything like that,” she told City Press.

“I personally never spoke to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). I didn’t really care any more whether they allow me to run or not. Athletics meant nothing to me.”

The women’s 800m world champion was this week cleared by the IAAF to return to the track, 11 months after a sex verification row preceded her ­triumph at the World Athletics Championships last August.

Greg Nott, the lawyer representing Semenya, said a deal had been brokered in February this year “whereby the medical teams from the IAAF and South Africa could engage one another. They had their discussions and came to the conclusion that we knew all along.”

Semenya told City Press that although she did not hold any grudges, even against Athletics South Africa (ASA), “I hated their deeds.”

ASA boss Leonard Chuene was fired for the manner in which he handled issues, including the Semenya matter, after Semenya was subjected to ­gender testing nearly nine months ago.

“I also don’t care about those who said they would boycott races if I run. They are not my friends and I go there to compete and entertain people. That’s all I care for,” Semenya said.

The 19-year-old said the IAAF’s decision to clear her to run as a woman did not spark ­any excitement in her.

“The IAAF’s news doesn’t mean anything special to me ­really because I don’t rely on ­athletics to live,” she scoffed.

Her 11-month ordeal shut out potential sponsors who had lined up for her signature after her exploits in Germany.

Semenya said the IAAF’s decision would bring hope to her academy. “We cannot force people to come on board, but donors are most welcome to assist us in helping aspiring kids realise their dreams.”

As for her fitness levels, the muscular-built runner admits to her shortcomings. “I have been out of competition for a very long time and I am not fully fit.

The year is almost over and my focus is on next year’s races.”

However, she is scheduled to compete in Finland next month.


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