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South Africa’s Caster Semenya hit the headlines again after she was initially banned from taking part in the invitational in Rabat, Morocco but later invited before she declined the invitation.

The Royal Moroccan Athletics Federation (FRMA) initially banned the South African Olympic champion from running the 800 meters in Morocco.

She was denied entry into the Diamond League competition, despite Switzerland’s highest court finding the athlete fit to run.

The FRMA, giving no reasons, denied her request to race in Rabat at the weekend.

She was later invited but the athlete could not attend owing to complex logistics.


Semenya said that Morocco denied her request to run in Morocco. The Royal Moroccan Athletics Federation banned her, without providing a reason.

The sport’s governing body, IAAF, restricts testosterone levels in female athletes like Semenya. However, The Swiss Federal Supreme Court lifted the IAAF’s regulations in order to allow Semenya to run until June 25.

On Friday, the organizer of the Diamond League race, Alain Blondel, posted a statement on the event’s site saying: 

“After checking the situation of Caster Semenya in the light of the decisions of the Swiss Federal Court, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the head of the international athletics meeting in Rabat, Alain Blondel, is happy to confirm the invitation.”

“She received an invitation but is unable to organize her schedule to come to Rabat,” Blondel said.


Semenya’s agent Jukka Harkonen said that the lateness of the invitation made it impossible for her to travel to Rabat in time for the race because it was a journey of more than 20 hours from her home country South Africa.

“She’s not running,” he said. “She was invited today but that was too late.”

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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