CASTER SEMENYA GENDER TEST NEWS CONFERENCE CANCELLED

By NBF News
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Replay – Semenya wins 800m
A news conference on the future of world 800m champion Caster Semenya was cancelled at short notice on Thursday.

The 19-year-old has been waiting since last August to hear results of gender tests carried out at the request of the sport's governing body the IAAF.

Athletics South Africa banned her from racing until results were confirmed.

She was expected to learn whether she had the go-ahead to compete again at a South African sports ministry news press conference at 1400 BST.

But Lunice Johnston, media executive at PR company Siyenza, said: “We were just informed by the sports ministry that the press conference has been cancelled.

“They didn't provide any reason. I'm not sure if they will release a statement today or tomorrow.”

The sports ministry was not immediately available for comment. 606: DEBATE

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BBC's Gordon Farquhar
In a statement, IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said a decision on Semenya's eligibility to compete again has still not been reached.

“It is important to note though that the procedure has still not been completed and must therefore remain confidential,” he said.

“The IAAF will only issue an official statement at the end of the process. Until then, all parties should refrain from making statements that could only cause unnecessary confusion.”

Semenya won gold at the World Championships in Berlin in August 2009 but hours before she was due to compete it emerged the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had demanded that the teenager take a gender test amid fears she was not eligible to compete as a woman.

The South African, who has not competed since Berlin, was set to make her racing comeback at a meeting in Zaragoza on 17 June but that was cancelled because of the economic situation in Spain.

Semenya was 18 when she stormed to victory in the 800m, beating Kenya's defending champion and the eventual silver medallist Janeth Jepkosgei by 2.45 seconds.

The IAAF has never officially suspended Semenya following her victory in Germany and in November the South African sports ministry said Semenya would be able to keep her 800m gold medal.

She was due to attend the press conference along with her lawyers, IAAF president Lamine Diack and South Africa's Minister for Sport and recreation Reverend Doctor Makhenkesi Stofile.

However, the event was cancelled at 1140 BST.