Semenya media session called off
Organizers abruptly canceled a news conference Thursday with Caster Semenya, the world 800-metre champion at the centre of a gender dispute. The sport's governing body said her "procedure" had not yet been completed.
Semenya's advisers released a statement Thursday, just hours before the planned briefing, saying the Johannesburg news conference had been called off. The event was to have been hosted by South Africa's minister of sport Makhenkesi Stofile.
Semenya's lawyers said they had been told the briefing had been canceled by Stofile because the executive committee of the International Association of Athletics Federations "has not received a formal briefing" on Semenya's case by medical officials.
"It is pre-emptive to make an announcement before the IAAF Exco has considered the matter," Semenya's lawyer Greg Nott said. "We fully respect the Minister's decision."
The 19-year-old Semenya has not run competitively since winning the 800 title at the world championships last August in Berlin. Her dramatic improvement in times and muscular build led the IAAF to order gender verification tests.
On Wednesday, Semenya's advisers said the news conference would address the "outcomes" of the case. Also Wednesday, a South African news channel reported the runner had been cleared to return to action.
But the IAAF said Thursday that a decision on Semenya had not yet been reached.
"The Caster Semenya case is being handled jointly by the IAAF and representatives for Semenya in a satisfactory way," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said in a statement to the AP.
"It is important to note though that the procedure has still not been completed and must therefore remain confidential. The IAAF will only issue an official statement at the end of the process, which is now well under way."
"Until then, all parties should refrain from making statements that could only cause unnecessary confusion," Davies said.
IAAF president Lamine Diack, who is in South Africa for the World Cup, said last month a solution to the controversy would be found "not later than the end of June."