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Semenya to return to track in 2,000 metres race in France

Caster Semenya last ran the 800 in Doha where she won © AFP/File / Karim JAAFAR

PARIS, France, May 24 – Two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya will run in the 2,000 metres in a meeting held in the Paris suburbs on June 11, the organisers said on Friday.

The race in Montreuil, just east of the French capital, will be the South African’s first since she lost an appeal against International Association of Athletics Federations rules governing testosterone levels in women athletes, which came into effect on May 8.

Semenya has also entered the 3,000m at the Prefontaine Classic, which this year is being held in Stanford, California, on June 30.

At longer distances Semenya, who won her Olympic golds at 800m, can compete without reducing her testosterone levels.

The new rules require women with higher than normal male hormone levels — so-called “hyperandrogenic” athletes — to artificially lower the amount of testosterone in their bodies if they are to compete in races over distances of 400m to the mile.

Semenya won the 800m at the Doha Diamond League meeting this month in her first race since losing her appeal of the controversial IAAF ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Semanya has said she will not take medication but has also said she hopes to defend her 800m at the world championships in Doha, which start on September 27.

“Hell no. No way,” she said. “I don’t know what will happen next. But no one should tell me what to do, if people want to stop me from doing something that’s their problem, not mine.”

She said she was fighting a bigger battle beyond the track.

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“This is more than a game, more than sports,” she said. “This is about human dignity, human pride.”

The South African government has said it will appeal CAS’s decision in the Swiss courts.

The World Medical Association has urged doctors not to enforce the rules, warning that attempts to do so would breach ethics codes.

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