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Semenya to miss Doha race after Swiss court ruling

Due to an IAAF ruling, women like Semenya, with differences of sexual development (DSD), are classified, biologically, as men

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Semenya to miss Doha championships after Swiss court ruling
South Africa's Caster Semenya competes in the women's 800m during the IAAF Diamond League competition in Doha. - Caster Semenya will not defend her world 800m title in Doha in September after a Swiss court overruled a suspension on the IAAF's controversial testosterone-curbing regulations, her representatives said on July 30, 2019. (Photo by Karim JAAFAR / AFP)

Caster Semenya will not defend her world 800m title in Doha in September after a Swiss judge overruled a temporary suspension on the IAAF’s controversial testosterone-curbing rules, her representatives said Tuesday.

The ruling means the 28-year-old can no longer compete in events between the 400m and mile, as she did in June and July. The World Championships are scheduled between September 28 and October 6 in the Qatari capital.

“I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned,” said the South African who is also a two-time Olympic gold medallist.

READ: Semenya appeals against IAAF testosterone ruling

Semenya’s representatives said in a statement that, on Monday, “a single judge of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court reversed prior rulings that had temporarily suspended the IAAF regulations pending the outcome of Caster’s appeal against the CAS award”.

“In this latest decision, the Supreme Court emphasised the strict requirements and high thresholds for the interim suspension of CAS awards and found that these were not fulfilled.”

Dorothee Schramm, the lawyer leading Semenya’s appeal, added that the judge had made a “procedural decision” that has no impact on the appeal itself.

READ: Semenya cleared by court to run 800m in Rabat

“We will continue to pursue Caster’s appeal and fight for her fundamental human rights. A race is always decided at the finish line.”

Semenya is locked in a bitter dispute with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which should be settled by a final ruling from Switzerland’s supreme court on Semenya’s appeal against the regulations.

The IAAF released a brief, non-committal, statement on Tuesday evening.

READ: South Africa’s Caster Semenya to race in California

“We understand the Swiss Federal Tribunal will be issuing its full decision on this order tomorrow and the IAAF will comment once the tribunal makes its reasoning public,” it said.

Semenya is classified as a woman, was raised as a woman and races as a woman.

But for the IAAF, women like Semenya, with certain masculine attributes due to differences of sexual development (DSD), are classified, biologically, as men. It is a position hotly contested by South African officials.

The IAAF, seeking “to ensure fair competition for all women”, argues that DSD athletes, like Semenya, born with the “46 XY” chromosome rather than the XX chromosome most females have, would have an advantage in all events based on their levels of testosterone that are in the male range.

READ: Athletics South Africa label Semenya ruling “disgraceful”

“Caster Semenya remains steadfast in her defiance of the highly controversial IAAF regulations that require female athletes with naturally elevated testosterone levels to undergo hormonal drug intervention in order to compete in international competitions,” the athlete’s representatives said.

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Nigeria’s FA reacts to FIFA’s ban on coach Siasia

FIFA’s Ethics Committee found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to match-fixing

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Nigeria's FA reacts to FIFA's ban on coach Siasia
Acting NFF President, Seyi Akinwunmi.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said on Monday that they were “shocked” by a life ban on former national coach Samson Siasia by FIFA for bribery, vowing to overturn it.

On Friday, the governing body of world football banned Siasia, 52, from football, following a long-running investigation into convicted match-fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal.

After his arrest, Perumal collaborated with investigators.

FIFA’s Ethics Committee found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

Siasia, a striker, played 51 times for Nigeria and had two short spells as national coach. 

Acting NFF President Seyi Akinwunmi said in a statement that the FIFA report had been given to the body’s lawyers “to study and provide legal advice to the federation,” he said, adding that Siasia “gave his all for Nigeria.”

The statement read:

“The NFF was shocked to learn of the investigation and the subsequent decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) placing a life ban on Mr Samson Siasia.”

“Siasia is a football legend but most importantly he is a Nigerian”, he said.  

“We respect the FIFA processes”, said Akinwunmi but added, “the least we as a Federation can do is empathise with him at this time make ourselves available to him and hope that in some way he is able to clear his name.”

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FIFA bans ex-Nigeria football coach for match fixing

Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 US dollars

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FIFA on Friday banned former Nigeria Football Federation official Samson Siasia for life after the body’s ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection with match fixing. 

In a statement, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said the probe targeting Siasia stemmed from a wider investigation involving Wilson Raj Perumal, who has confessed to international match-fixing.

The probe that began in February found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.

In addition to being banned from all football related activity for life, Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000, 46,000 euros).

Siasia, a former striker, also briefly coached Nigeria’s men’s national football team. 

FIFA did not detail the nature of ties to Perumal, a Singaporean national who was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier football games there. 

Perumal later collaborated with match fixing investigators.

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Sebastien Migne resigns as coach of Kenya’s national football team

Frenchman Migne took charge of the team in May 2018 and took Kenya to their first AFCON finals appearance in 15 years

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Sebastien Migne resigns as head coach of Kenya's national football team
Kenya's coach (now-former) Sebastian Migne. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

Kenya’s football federation said on Monday coach Sebastien Migne was leaving by “mutual consent” eight days after his team were eliminated from qualifying for the 2020 African Nations Championship.

Kenya were knocked out of the tournament, for teams made up only of African-based players, on penalties on August 4 after both legs of their first-round tie with neighbours and arch-rivals Tanzania ended goalless. 

Frenchman Migne took charge of the Harambee Stars in May 2018 and steered the side to a first African Cup of Nations finals appearance in 15 years.

Hampered by injuries to key players, Kenya were eliminated at the group stage despite beating Tanzania, 3-2.

“Football Kenya Federation and Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne have agreed to terminate the coach’s contract on mutual consent” said  Barry Otieno, the federation’s acting general secretary.

“Consequently, FKF and Migne have agreed on a settlement for the coach, over a period of time.”

Otieno said the re-organisation and appointment for a new coaching team was already underway.

Kenya play Egypt in the preliminary round of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo in November.

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