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Athlete Semenya cleared to compete after gender test controversy

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Sprinter Semenya cleared to compete
  • Caster Semenya gets the all-clear to compete again as a woman
  • Semenya has had to undergo a series of gender tests after doubts over her sexuality
  • Semenya has not raced internationally since winning the world 800 meters title last year

(CNN) -- South Africa's Caster Semenya has been given the all-clear to compete again as a woman after undergoing a series of gender tests, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) announced Tuesday.

"The process initiated in 2009 in the case of Caster Semenya has now been completed," the IAAF said in a statement on its website.

"The IAAF accepts the conclusion of a panel of medical experts that she can compete with immediate effect."

The IAAF added: "The medical details of the case remain confidential and the IAAF will make no further comment on the matter."

The 19-year-old Semenya was delighted to be able to return, after nearly a year of controversy and uncertainty.

"I am thrilled to enter the global athletics arena once again and look forward to competing with all the disputes behind me," she said in a statement released by her legal team.

Semenya emerged from obscurity at the beginning of last year to run world class times over 800 meters, culminating in victory over the distance in the world championships in Berlin in August.

The IAAF accepts the conclusion of a panel of medical experts that she can compete with immediate effect
--IAAF statement

Her runaway gold medal performance in one minute 55.45 seconds raised eyebrows and the IAAF announced at the championships that they would be conducting tests to determine her gender.

On return to South Africa, Semenya became a cause celebre among the public and was feted by leading politicians, who were angered by her treatment.

But it later emerged that Athletics South Africa (ASA) had carried out a gender test on her even before she departed for Berlin.

The ASA president at the time, Leonard Chuene, initially denied that such a test had taken place, but was forced to admit he lied and has been suspended along with the rest of the ASA board.

Semenya's lawyer Greg Nott said that the decision to allow her to compete again had come after protracted negotiations between the IAAF and her own medical team.

"Our direct negotiations with the IAAF representatives, through the mediator, have been ongoing for 10 months," he said.

"Meetings have been held in Monaco, Istanbul and Paris, but due to the nature of the matter the parties resolved to keep the negotiations confidential," Nott added.

Semenya now has the opportunity to compete in the world junior championships in Canada later this month, but October's Commonwealth Games in Delhi is a more realistic target.