Sex-tested South African athlete cannot run: official

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Caster Semenya of South Africa celebrates after winning the women's 800 metres final during the world athletics championships at the Olympic stadium in Berlin August 19, 2009.

JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 15-- Controversial South African athlete Caster Semenya cannot compete in any races until a final decision is made on sex verification tests she was subjected to, South Africa's Olympic governing body, SASCOC, said on Friday.

"Let's be very clear on one thing. As things stand, Caster Semenya is not eligible to run in any sanctioned meeting or race.

"The matter over the results of her gender test is still sitting with the international parent association, the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations)," South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam said in a statement.

"They are still conducting their work and the process is ongoing. And we have to respect the privacy of the athlete, so any 'confirmation' is premature," SASCOC said.

The body said it was still waiting for the IAAF to consult with Semenya and the matter was between them and her.

"When things are resolved we will all be in a better position, but until the case is closed, it would be irresponsible for us to clear our world champion to compete again," it said.

The organization said Semenya's coach Michael Seme acted "irresponsibly and without jurisdiction" in saying she was going to compete against women in the forthcoming Athletics South Africa season.

Earlier this week, Seme announced that Semenya would compete again this year, but when asked for clarification on Friday said: "I don't want to comment."

IAAF spokesman Nick Davies would say only: "The official position of the IAAF is that we are not making any comment until we have resolved this case."

Following a significant improvement in Semenya's time last year at a Berlin race, an Australian publication reported that her body contained elements of both the male and female genders.