Caster Semenya, the 800m runner from South Africa who is at the centre of an engulfing controversy about high testosterone in female athletes, will race the 800m at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford University on June 30, and not the 3,000m as previously reported.
It will be the first time Semenya races the 800m since the Swiss Federal Tribunal ruled she could continue to race her chosen distance without artificially lowering her testosterone while the court hears her appeal of the May 1 CAS decision upholding the IAAF’s testosterone rule. The tribunal has said it will issue a decision on the appeal on June 25. Other athletes with conditions similar to Semenya’s are required to follow the IAAF rule, at least until the appeal decision. The testosterone rule applies to female athletes with DSD racing events between the 400m and the mile.
Semenya was already registered for the 3,000m at the Pre Classic, which will take place at Stanford due to ongoing reconstruction of the Hayward Field track facilities at the University of Oregon, but has requested that she be switched to the 800m. According to a Reuters report, meet director Tom Jordan was “happy to comply.” The Pre Classic is a Diamond League event, which is not organized by the IAAF.
Semenya was initially denied entry into the 800m at last weekend’s Rabat Diamond League, which then changed its mind, but too late for her to travel there.
Semenya has not been beaten in the distance in the 30 finals she has raced since 2015. Her personal best is 1:54.25, almost a second off the world record time of 1:53.28 set by Jarmila Kratochvílová in 1983.
The full, 163-page CAS report was released to the public this week. You can read it on the Inside the Games site, here.