Caster Semenya on Friday said she had no intention of retiring after losing her ‘testosterone case’ following the Court of Arbitration ruling this week.
After romping home to outclass world-class opposition in the women’s 800m at the IAAF Diamond League opener in Doha, Qatar, she said: ” How am I going to retire when I’m 28?” when asked by BBC Sport.
“I still feel young, energetic. I still have 10 years or more in athletics. It doesn’t matter how I’m going to do it, what matters is I’ll still be here. I am never going anywhere.”
Semenya’s time of 1min 54.89sec was a meeting record and the eighth-fastest women’s 800m time ever run.
She added: “I’m excited winning here in Doha. The first race of the season is tough and you may not be able to predict how your body is going to respond to the push but the weather was great and it was wonderful tonight.
“For me, I believe nothing is hard in life because it is up to you how you take life. As an athlete, I believe in sportsmanship and what sports teach you is to keep pushing on despite all odds.
“I know life could be difficult at times but I’m a believer and I believe there is always a way to resolve issues. One of my firm beliefs is that there is always a way out of everything.
“So if a wall is placed in front of me, I jump it. I’m going to keep enjoying my life and live it. I will keep on training and running. To me, impossibility is nothing.
“When you are a great champion, you always deliver,” Semenya said. “It’s up to God, God has decided my life, God will end my life, God has decided my career, God will end my career. No man, or any other human, can stop me from running.”
This follows speculation that Semenya was considering retirement after she sent out a tweet hinting at this following her losing her case to stop the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from forcing her and other athletes to lower their testosterone levels through medication.
Semenya posted an inspirational quote saying: “Knowing when to walk away is wisdom. Being able to is courage. Walking away with your head held high is dignity.”
She accompanied this quote only with the “shrug emoji”, likely indicating that she was still considering her options.
On Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that the IAAF, track and field’s governing body, may maintain its restrictions on athletes such as Semenya, who is believed to have an intersex condition that causes her body to naturally produce testosterone at levels much higher than most women.
The rule introduced by the IAAF compels female runners in certain categories to cap their testosterone levels for six months before competing.
After two-time Olympic 800 metres champion lost her legal challenge, the International Association of Athletics Federations’ controversial rule regulating testosterone levels for women athletes will come into effect on May 8.
The new rule applies to distances from 400m to a mile and includes the heptathlon, which concludes with an 800m race. – African News Agency (ANA)