Caster Semenya, the reigning world and Olympic 800m champion, has signed with South African soccer team Janine van Wyk Football Club (JVW FC). The announcement follows the Swiss Court ruling that Semenya won’t be allowed to compete at the upcoming World Championships in the 800m.
Happy to announce my signing with @jvwgirlsfootball for 2020 season. Looking forward to this journey. 🐍 pic.twitter.com/9Urd7aQ3NF
— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) September 6, 2019
The Swiss Court initially struck down the IAAF’s May 2019 ruling that forced Semenya to either suppress her testosterone levels or switch events from the 800m. This initially allowed Semenya to continue competing, but the Swiss Court overturned its own decision this several weeks ago, once again barring Semenya from competition.
Semenya told the New York Times, “I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all the female athletes concerned.” According to the IAAF ruling, Semenya is not allowed to compete at any event from the 400m through the mile, considering she has adamantly refused to lower her testosterone to 5 nmol/L, the maximum allowed under the IAAF’s testosterone rule.
Semenya has been fighting for her place on the 800m start line for nearly a decade now. She wrote on social media on Friday that she’s excited for a new journey, which suggests that she could be leaving the track world behind.
According to Sowetan Live, Semenya won’t be able to compete for the soccer team in the 2019 season as the transfer window is closed, but that she will continue to train with the team in preparation for next year. The track world champion started training last Tuesday.