Female Runner Allowed to Compete as a Female

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Image by © DOMINIC EBENBICHLER/Reuters/Corbis

It’s been a mad dash to prove it, but Caster Semenya is about to cross the finish line—as a woman.

Semenya, the 19-year-old South African-running champion who was at the center of a media firestorm over questions of her gender, has been given the go-ahead to compete against other women.

The International Association of Athletics Federations confirmed that the teenager will be eligible to race as a woman. She could be racing as early as this month, at the World Junior Championships in Canada.

It’s been 11 months since Semenya was banned from running with women after a stunning win in Berlin sparked controversy and an investigation into whether she had gender ambiguities.  There have been reports that gender tests Semenya took last August revealed both male and female characteristics and that she’s been undergoing hormone therapy ever since. However, IAAF has noted that all medical details of the case will not be divulged and wouldn’t offer information on the particulars of their decision.

Semenya has said that she’s ready to move on with her career: “I am thrilled to enter the global athletics arena once again, and look forward to competing with all the disputes behind me.” (via the Guardian)