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09th-Aug-2017

Semenya plays down gender testing 'nonsense'

By AFP, London


South African Caster Semenya, dogged by gender accusations since shooting to fame in 2009, has played down efforts by track and field's governing body to change rules on naturally occurring testosterone in female athletes.
Semenya is back in the spotlight following a study funded by the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that showed female athletes with naturally high levels of testosterone enjoy a competitive advantage of up to 4.5 percent over their rivals.
The 26-year-old South African, double defending Olympic 800m champion and also a two-time world gold medallist in the distance, was one of a number of women taking medication to lower her testosterone level until 2015 when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) suspended an IAAF rule that enforced a limit on naturally occurring levels.
Semenya has studiously avoided the controversy, instead concentrating on her track performances and she won a bronze in the highly competitive 1500m at the world champs in London on Monday.
"Those are the things, the issues, that I don't focus on. It's not my business. It's their business," Semenya insisted.
"Those are the writings that I've being seeing since 2009," she said of a particularly unsavory moment in her career after winning gold in the Berlin worlds in 2009.
Questions were asked of her sex after that storming victory preceded by an incredible athletic progression, and she ended up spending 11 months on the sidelines when the IAAF conducted that verification process.