JUNE 10 2010 15:35h

Semenya gender row news conference cancelled




South African sports officials Thursday cancelled a press conference to announce Caster Semenya's future following the gender test controversy which halted her athletics career.

The briefing which was expected to be addressed by the sport minister and Semenya was cancelled at the last minute after media reports that she had been cleared by athletics' world governing body to compete as a woman.

Organisers of the conference did not give reasons for the cancellation.

- I have no idea why the press conference was cancelled. They just told me that is won't be happening today - Semenya's coach, Michael Seme, told AFP.

- I have no idea what was going to be discussed there - added Seme.

In 2009, the International Association of Athletics (IAAF) ordered Semenya to undergo tests to verify her gender, shortly before winning the 800m race at the world championships in Berlin.

Media reported on Thursday that the muscular 19-year-old had been cleared to return to competition as a woman, after nearly a year of absence pending test results.

Private televison station etv reported that she had been cleared to run again after reviewing the results of gender-verification tests, citing unnamed athletics sources.

Semenya has previously said she plans to return to the track in June after the IAAF decision.