The Associated Press Tired, maybe, after 10 years of fighting track authorities, Caster Semenya has signed up to play with a South African soccer team.
Currently banned from competing in her preferred event, the two-time Olympic 800-meter champion might now be ready to give up running in favor of a sport where she isn’t forced to take hormone-suppressing medication.
Semenya wrote on Twitter on Friday that she had joined Johannesburg-based women’s club JVW FC, posting a photo of herself smiling and holding up a soccer shirt. She said in a separate statement she was looking forward to a “new journey.”
The club, which is owned by South Africa national women’s team captain Janine van Wyk, said Semenya began training with the team last week but she won’t be registered to play league games until next year.
But that timing is significant because the South African women’s soccer season in 2020 will be in action at the same time as the Olympics in Tokyo.
“I am grateful for this opportunity and I appreciate the love and support I already get from the team,” the 28-year-old Semenya said. “I am looking forward to this new journey, and hopefully I can contribute as much as I can to the club.”
Semenya, who won her first major track title at the world championships in Berlin a decade ago, didn’t directly say if she was retiring from track and field. But she has hinted on numerous occasions on social media in recent months she would be willing to give up if she isn’t allowed to compete in her favorite event without being forced to take medication to lower her natural testosterone level.Speech