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Semenya and Viljoen to receive 2011 World Champs medal upgrades

These upgrades are the results of disqualifications of the original medallists from Russia for doping violations.

FILE: World 800m champion Caster Semenya. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Caster Semenya and Sunette Viljoen will receive gold and silver medals respectively following the decision by the IAAF to re-allocate medals from the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

These upgrades are the results of disqualifications of the original medallists from Russia for doping violations.

Semenya moved into the gold position in the women’s 800m following the disqualification of Mariya Savinova, while Viljoen moved into silver medal position in the women’s Javelin Throw after Maria Abakumova was disqualified.

The IAAF will be honouring the affected athletes at the upcoming World Championships in Doha, Qatar. For Viljoen’s re-allocated silver medal, the IAAF plans to hold the ceremony on Wednesday 2 October at the Khalifa Stadium.

In Semenya’s case, she will not be able to receive the medal herself after being banned by the IAAF from competing after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the ruling on hormone therapy for female athletes.

The IAAF will instead hand her medal to Athletics South Africa in Doha.

ASA will, in turn, decide on the appropriate time, venue and date for an official handover to the athlete.

ASA president, Aleck Skosana said the decision was long overdue.

"Excellent news indeed for the two athletes who had been placed wrongly because of those who cheated the system at the time, but after eight years we are happy that justice has been done. Congratulations to our athletes for their achievements and for being honoured as clean athletes," he said.

"We are happy that the IAAF now offers a chance to the rightful winners a podium celebration in front of a capacity stadium which the cheats denied them at the original competition," he said.

The World Championships will run from 27 September to 6 October.

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