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Embattled gender-questioned South African track star to finally reveal results of test Thursday

Photo by Markus Schreiber

Photo by Markus Schreiber

JOHANNESBURG -- Caster Semenya will hold a news conference today to discuss the outcome of the gender dispute involving the 800-meter world champion.

Semenya's public relations advisers said Wednesday the 19-year-old runner would appear at a news conference in Johannesburg hosted by South Africa's minister of sport Makhenkesi Stofile.

Semenya's lawyers also will attend along with mediator Brian Currin, a South African civil and human rights lawyer.

The statement said the news conference would be "relating to the outcomes of the Caster Semenya dispute."

"We look forward to the press conference with both the minister and our client," Semenya's lawyer Greg Nott said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

He would not comment on a South African television report that Semenya was set to announce she had been cleared to run again and compete as a woman.

The youth league for South Africa's ruling African National Congress party said it expected Semenya to be allowed to run again. It said it welcomed the IAAF decision "to clear South African golden girl Caster Semenya to continue to be an athlete as a woman."

Semenya has not run competitively since winning the 800 title at the world championships last August in Berlin. Her dramatic improvement in times and muscular build led the International Association of Athletics Federations to order gender verification tests.

IAAF president Lamine Diack said last month a solution to the controversy would be found "not later than the end of June."

"This girl is in a difficult situation and it's difficult for everyone," Diack said then.

The athletics body has repeatedly said it would not comment publicly on the case until what it called Semenya's "medical process" was complete.

Telephone calls and e-mails to the IAAF were not returned Wednesday.

Semenya had planned to return to competition June 24 in Zaragoza, Spain, but the meet was canceled for financial reasons.

In March, Semenya was prevented from competing at an event near Cape Town by Athletics South Africa, which was acting on the advice of the IAAF.

Semenya and her lawyers then threatened to take ASA to court.

The world champion told The Associated Press in an interview two weeks ago in Ivory Coast that she did not care about anyone else's decision and would decide her own future.

"I'm the one who decides in the end if I'm going to run," Semenya said.

Her coach, Michael Seme, told the AP the IAAF was taking too long to end the investigation.

"They're doing their job," Seme said, "but they're wasting Caster's time."

Semenya was welcomed as a national hero in South Africa last year following her stunning debut at the world championships.

The subsequent gender tests and Australian media reports saying Semenya had both male and female sex organs caused outrage in her home country.

Semenya's case also entangled ASA president Leonard Chuene, the man in charge of South African athletics. Last September, Chuene admitted he lied about his knowledge of gender tests performed on Semenya in South Africa before the world championships. He was suspended.

But the ANC's youth league said Wednesday that he had now been vindicated and ASA should retain the services of Chuene, "who is a true champion of sports development in the country."