Semenya named in South Africa World Champs squad

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Double Olympic 800 metres champion Caster Semenya has been included in South Africa's preliminary team for this year's world championships in Qatar, but her participation still depends on the outcome of an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

Semenya is fighting a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision that supported rule changes around the testosterone levels of athletes instigated by track and field's governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The IAAF's new rules state that XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs), like Semenya, can only race in distances between 400 metres and a mile if they take medication to lower their testosterone levels.

Last week the Swiss Federal Tribunal decided to provisionally suspend the IAAF's new rules in support of Semenya, but only until June 25. The World Championships begin in Doha on September 28.

Semenya has so far not been entered for races of distances not covered by the IAAF rules, despite winning the 5,000 metres national title this year.

She is set to race over 2,000 metres in Paris on Tuesday, and in the 3,000 at the Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California on June 30.

South Africa also included Olympic 400 metres champion Wayde van Niekerk, who is set to return from almost two years on the sidelines when he competes in a Diamond League event in London from July 20-21.

Van Niekerk, who beat Michael Johnson's 17-year-old world record at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, has barely run since injuring knee ligaments in a charity touch rugby game in October 2017.