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Semenya's lawyers say they will protect her right to race

Caster Semenya has not raced since claiming gold in the 800 meters at the World Championship in Berlin last August
Caster Semenya has not raced since claiming gold in the 800 meters at the World Championship in Berlin last August
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Athlete Caster Semenya's lawyer tells CNN they will protect her right to race
  • Semenya has not raced since taking gold in the 800 meters at the World Championship
  • The South African athlete is awaiting the results of a gender test
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(CNN) -- Lawyers representing world 800 meters champion Caster Semenya have told CNN they will protect her right to race after she was prevented from competing in South Africa this week.

Semenya has not taken part in an athletics meeting since taking gold at the World Championship in Berlin last August, at which she was asked to undergo a gender test by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Even though the IAAF's vedict has yet to be delivered, Semenya announced in March she was returning to action.

But Semenya's lawyer, Jeffrey L. Kessler of U.S.-based firm Dewey and LeBoeuf, told CNN Wednesday that Semenya had been prevented from competing in South Africa this week.

He said: "Apparently Athletics South Africa (ASA) and IAAF have refused to permit Caster to race. We will take whatever steps are necessary to protect Caster's right to compete without restriction."

In January, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced that Semenya was free to run competitively, only to be contradicted by South African Olympic Committee president Gideon Sam who said she would not be permitted to compete until the IAAF had made its ruling.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Semenya was critical of the IAAF for taking such a long time over its investigation.

She said: "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."

Reuters.com reported IAAF spokesman Nick Davies as saying: "The IAAF will have no comment until the process is complete."