LONDON, January 14 – South Africa's women's 800 metres world champion Caster Semenya looks set to return to the track in February despite her still being in the middle of a gender investigation.Semenya’s coach Michael Seme told the BBC that the 19-year-old has kept training, but needs to race against local opposition before a return to international events.
Semenya dominated the 800m event in the world championships last August in Berlin sauntering home to take the title, 2.45 seconds quicker than Kenya’s defending champion Janeth Jepkosgei who finished second, despite coming into the event a virtual unknown.
The sports’ governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) have always maintained a diplomatic silence after an accord brokered with Semenya’s lawyers and the South African government that said all had reached "total agreement" on her title won at the Berlin championships in August.
The parties also agreed that scientific tests into the gender of the first year sports science student – who grew up in a rural village in northern South Africa – will remain confidential.
Semenya’s rapid speed gains last year prompted questions about the gender of the runner, who has a deep voice and a muscular physique.
Leaked test results said Semenya was a hermaphrodite, sparking anger from the South African public and government, who rallied behind the athlete.
Athletics South Africa has also confirmed her comeback, but is refusing to discuss dates, saying they want to keep her out of the media spotlight.