Caster Semenya Allowed to Compete As A Woman

By Jamilah King Apr 08, 2010

After months of speculation and gender testing, South African runner Caster Semenya is finally being allowed to compete again:

"Semenya’s lawyers told the eNews channel Wednesday that her medical team looked at test results following the 2009 world championships and their own tests and concluded that she was clear to compete." Benedict Phiri, of the Dewey and Leboeuf law firm, said the 800-meter world champion should have been free to compete since mid-Febraury.

The world champion 18-year-old runner has been sidelined since last summer, when she was forced to undergo a series of gender tests after setting the world record in the 800 meters at the 200 World Championships. Angry opponents claimed that her features were too masculine for female competition. Others argued the tests were obviously racist and eerily reminiscent of Saartje "Sarah" Baartman, the South African woman paraded around Europe as evidence of African inferiority in the 19th century. Pending official "gender verification" from the track and field’s governing body, the IAAF, Semenya plans to make her return to competitive racing at Spanish competition on June 24.