September 23, 2019
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Semenya joins South African women’s soccer team

 Caster Semenya of South Africa celebrates after winning the women's 800m race during the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting in Doha, Qatar, 03 May 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/NOUSHAD THEKKAYIL

Caster Semenya of South Africa celebrates after winning the women's 800m race during the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting in Doha, Qatar, 03 May 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/NOUSHAD THEKKAYIL

Johannesburg, Sep 6 (efe-epa).- Two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya of South Africa joined a local women’s soccer team, the middle-distance runner announced on Friday.

Semenya, however, will not take the field with JVW F.C till the next season.

“Happy to announce my signing with @jvwgirlsfootball for 2020 season. Looking forward to this journey,” Semenya posted to her Twitter account.

This move comes months after a legal battle with the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The athletics international governing body took a decision aimed at approving rule to limit the testosterone levels in women competing in the distance Semenya participate in.

Following this decision, women who, like Semenya, suffer from hyperandrogenism (high levels of male hormones such as testosterone) will need to receive treatment to reduce these levels or compete with men.

Now, Swiss courts are studying the case as the athlete after the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the decision taken by IAAF, but the ruling has come.

Semenya has refused to take medications as per the rule, which she considers discriminatory, and thus she will not be able to defend her title at the world championships to be held in Qatar at the end of the month.

“Who else can't wait to see @caster800m in action? #Limitless,” the club tweeted on Friday.

The club, based in the central province of Gauteng, was founded by South African Senior Women’s National Team captain, Janine van Wyk.

“Semenya, has set a new challenge for herself in her already-illustrious career by taking to the football field,” the club said in a statement on Thursday.

Since the deal was struck after the registration period is over, Semenya will have to wait till the next season to make the squad.

“I am grateful for this opportunity and I appreciate the love and support I already get from the team. I am looking forward to this new journey, and hopefully I can contribute as much as I can to the club,” she said. EFE-EPA

ngp/ta/jt

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