On This Day in 2010: Caster Semenya confirms athletics return after gender tests

On This Day in 2010: Caster Semenya confirms athletics return after gender tests

World 800 metres champion Caster Semenya announced she would return to athletics in the 2010 season on this day 12 years ago.

The South African, who underwent tests to determine her gender, had not raced since winning gold at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

The results of those tests were expected in November but the International Association of Athletics Federations announced earlier in March that Semenya’s case had still not been concluded.

The then 19-year-old nevertheless revealed she planned to return to athletics for the 2010 season, although an exact date was not specified.

2017 IAAF World Championships – Day Ten – London Stadium
Semenya wins World Championship gold in London in 2017 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“I am an athlete first and foremost and it is vital for my competitiveness, my wellbeing and for my preparations for events during the European summer that I measure my performance against other athletes,” Semenya said in a statement.

“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.”

Semenya went on to win 800m silver at the 2012 London Olympics, which was later upgraded to gold, and also won the event in Rio four years later as well as World Championship golds in 2011 and 2017.

However, she is currently not allowed to compete in events between 400m and a mile without taking testosterone-reducing drugs, following a 2019 rule change by governing body World Athletics.

Semenya, now 31, won the 3000m at an event in Cape Town just five days ago.