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Caster Semenya wins Doha 800m race

Olympic champion Caster Semenya wins Doha Diamond League 800m race.

Caster Semenya competes to win the women's 800 metres during the IAAF Diamond League "Weltklasse" athletics meeting at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich on 30 August 2018. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya shrugged off the unfavourable Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling when she won the Women’s 800m race at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League race in Doha on Friday evening.

Earlier in the week, Semenya lost her landmark case against the international athletics body in its bid to change its rules for female athletes who have higher testosterone levels who compete in the 800 to 1500m events.

Semenya blazed the field in typical fashion in Doha crossing the line in a time of 1:54:99 which called well be her last time competing on the international arena.

She must now begin taking medication to lower her testosterone levels if she wishes to compete over that distance based on the new rules, which CAS said on Wednesday were necessary to ensure fair competition.

Under the rules to take effect on 8 May, female athletes with high natural levels of testosterone wishing to compete in events from 400 metres to a mile must medically limit that level to under 5 nmol/L, which is double the normal female range of below 2 nmol/L.

Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin - which affects endurance.

Semenya also has 30 days to appeal the CAS ruling.

Earlier, South African lawmakers were urging Semenya to continue running following the CAS ruling.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on sport released a statement on Friday evening, wishing her well in Friday’s competition.

Semenya’s lawyer Greg Nott said his client will push on.

“Caster is indomitable. I’ve represented Caster for 10 years and known the fighting spirit that she has. She really is quite an incredible person.”

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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