Women Ministry welcomes decision on Caster

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pretoria - The Ministry for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities has welcomed the decision by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to allow Caster Semenya to compete again in women athletics.

"The decision to allow her to run again is the best news for our country since the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. We hope that Caster will find strength to revive her career and achieve even more accolades than she has done already," said Minister Noluthabdo Mayende-Sibiya.

On Tuesday, the IAAF announced that they had cleared Semenya to run again.

She said it was regrettable that Semenya's career in athletics had to be put on hold for almost a year and the disregard for her human dignity that coupled her suspension was deplorable.

"As South Africans, we should continue to provide Caster with all the support she needs to put behind this sad episode behind her and allow her to work towards attaining her personal goals. She should continue serve as an inspiration to other young people of country. We are proud of you Caster," said Mayende-Sibiya.

The 18-year-old shot to fame after winning the women's 800m title at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 2009 but her triumph was soon dashed when news broke that the IAAF had performed gender tests on the athlete.

Department of Sports and Recreation Minister Rev Makhenkesi Stofile thanked the IAAF and all those involved for keeping the matter confidential.

"Above all, we thank Caster for her patience and resilience, we thank her family and coach for their unfailing support," Stofile said, adding that Semenya's future is now in her hands.

"We wish her well in her career; it is certainly exciting to be South African," added Stofile