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Semenya cleared to run without medication pending appeal

No time frame has been given for when a final ruling might be made

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semenya
The Court of Arbitration (CAS)

Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya will be able to run in her favoured 800 metres event without medication to lower her testosterone levels until her appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal has been ruled on, her lawyers said on Monday.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had ruled last month that the sport’s ruling body, the IAAF, should make rules for XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs), like Semenya, competing in events ranging from 400 metres to a mile.

The CAS verdict, challenged by South African Semenya, was highly controversial, with many high-profile current and former athletes lining up on both sides of the debate.

“The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has ordered the IAAF to immediately suspend the implementation of the eligibility regulations against Caster Semenya, allowing her to compete without restriction in the female category while her appeal is pending,” a statement from Semenya’s lawyers said.

No time frame has been given for when a final ruling might be made, but the IAAF will make further submissions to the court, the statement said.

“The Swiss Supreme Court has granted welcome temporary protection to Caster Semenya. This is an important case that will have fundamental implications for the human rights of female athletes,” added Dorothee Schramm of Sidley Austin LLP, Swiss counsel for Semenya.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it had not been notified of the suspension.

“We have received no information from the Swiss Federal Court so we cannot comment at this stage,” an IAAF spokesperson said.

Speaking through her lawyers, Semenya said she remains hopeful of her appeal being successful.

“I am thankful to the Swiss judges for this decision. I hope that following my appeal I will once again be able to run free,” she said.

Semenya won her last competitive 800 metres race at the Doha Diamond League meeting on May 3, and could potentially race again in Oslo on June 13.

Representatives of the athlete say she has not decided on her future plans to run the 800 metres, the event in which she won the Olympic gold medal in 2012 and 2016.

Semenya, 28, is scheduled to complete in a 2,000 metres event in Paris on June 11, and has committed to run the 3,000 metres at the Diamond League’s Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California on June 30.

Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin and the IAAF said its own research showed it gave a significant endurance advantage to athletes in the 400 metres-mile range. (Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Southern Africa Sports

Manyama’s brace secures win for Kaizer Chiefs

The former South Africa midfielder opened the scoring after five minutes in front of a capacity 10,000 crowd at Makhulong Stadium

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Manyama's brace secures win for Kaizer Chiefs

Lebogang Manyama ended a 26-month South African Premiership goal drought by scoring twice as Kaizer Chiefs began the new season with a 3-2 win at Highlands Park Sunday.

The former South Africa midfielder opened the scoring after five minutes in front of a capacity 10,000 crowd at Makhulong Stadium 45 kilometres northeast of Johannesburg.

After Highlands had gone ahead with goals either side of half-time from Rodney Ramagalela and Namibian Peter Shalulile, Manyama struck again on 50 minutes to equalise.

An Eric Mathoho shot seven minutes from time which took a wicked deflection won the match for Chiefs, one of the most popular football clubs in the country but without a trophy since 2015.

“We have been through a rough patch over the last couple of years but I think today we showed what can be achieved and the team can only get better from here,” Manyama said.

It was an encouraging start for Chiefs at a ground where few visiting teams win as the Soweto outfit seek to put a disastrous last season behind them. 

They finished a humiliating ninth in the Premiership and were stunned by second-tier TS Galaxy in the FA Cup final.

Chiefs changed coaches midway through the 2018/2019 campaign with German Ernst Middendorp replacing Italian Giovanni Solinas.

“We had the edge over Highlands Park in quality and had to be patient,” said Middendorp, who has been resident in South Africa for more than a decade.

“The crowd was amazing today and this is the season where we have to play for our supporters. We attract many capacity crowds and then do not show up.

“But I think the situation is going to get better,” added Middendorp, who previously coached Chiefs a decade ago with minimal success.

Chiefs lie fourth after the opening round, behind Bidvest Wits, Orlando Pirates and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns on goal difference.

Golden Arrows and Polokwane City were the other clubs to secure maximum points in the opening round.

Sibusiso Mbonani scored a minute before half-time to earn Polokwane a 1-0 away win over Black Leopards, who hired French coach Lionel Soccoia during the close season.

Soccoia replaced Maltese Dylan Kerr, who quit after complaining of constant interference from club officials. 

Arrows netted in the first minute of the second half through a Michael Gumede lob to edge Maritzburg United 1-0 in Durban.

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Southern Africa Sports

Cricket South Africa sacks Gibson and his entire coaching staff

The clean-out comes shortly before a tour of India next month during which South Africa will play

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South Africa's head coach Ottis Gibson sacked

Ottis Gibson and his entire South African coaching team and management staff have lost their jobs, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Sunday. The decision, taken during a board meeting last week, follows a disastrous South African World Cup campaign in which the Proteas finished seventh of the 10 teams.

The clean-out comes shortly before a tour of India next month during which South Africa will play their first three Test matches in the new world Test championship.

In a statement, CSA said a football-style team manager would be appointed, who would take charge of all aspects of the national team, including the appointment of a coaching staff, the captain or captains and medical and administrative personnel.

The team manager will report directly to a Director of Cricket, a new position. Former South African player Corrie van Zyl, currently in charge of cricket pathways at CSA, will be acting Director of Cricket until a full-time appointment is made.

The statement said Van Zyl and CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe would appoint an interim management team for the tour of India as well as an interim selection panel and captain. Faf du Plessis, the current captain, was on Saturday night named South African Cricketer of the Year and it would be a surprise if he was replaced.

Sunday’s statement said none of the current team management, including coaches, would be retained. “This change will herald an exciting new era for the SA cricket and will bring us into line with best practice in professional sport,” said Moroe.

Former West Indian player and coach Gibson was appointed South African team coach in 2017. His contract was due to expire next month.

Gibson said during the recent Cricket World Cup that he was keen to continue in the job but his prospects plummeted when South Africa were among the first teams to be eliminated from contention for a World Cup semi-final place.

Van Zyl, 57, played in one unofficial Test during South Africa’s years of isolation and in two one-day internationals in 1992 following the country’s return to official international cricket. He had a brief spell as South African coach between 2009 and 2011.

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Ex-South African footballer Marc Batchelor killed in drive-by shooting

Police said the motive of the attack was unknown and that no arrests had yet been made

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Ex-South African footballer Marc Batchelor killed in drive-by shooting
Former South Africa footballer Marc Batchelor was shot dead in an apparent targeted killing late July 15, 2019, as he drove home in Johannesburg, police said. (Photo by Siphiwe SIBEKO / POOL / AFP)

Former South African footballer, Marc Batchelor was shot dead in an apparent targeted killing on Monday evening as he drove home in Johannesburg, police said.

“He was driving to his house and he was accosted by two guys on a motorcycle,” police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini told reporters.

“They fired shots at him and he died in his vehicle and the suspects drove away without taking anything.” 

“This happened outside his house in Olivedale (northern Johannesburg).”

Police said the motive of the attack was unknown and that no arrests had yet been made.

Local media carried photographs showing his bullet-riddled car window.

Batchelor, 49, played for South Africa’s two largest rivals teams, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, as well as Mamelodi Sundowns, Moroka Swallows and Supersport United.

He had a long-running feud with Paralympic sprint star Oscar Pistorius who was convicted of murdering Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

Batchelor claimed the sprinter threatened to break his legs in a dispute over a girlfriend.

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