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ALMOST a year after she was banned from running, South Africa's golden girl Caster Semenya is back and ready to take on the world.
The 19-year-old was given the green light to run again after a review by the IAAF of gender verification tests.
In a statement that was released by her lawyers Dewey & LeBoeuf yesterday, Semenya said: "I am thrilled to enter the global athletics arena once again and look forward to competing with all the disputes behind me."
Semenya was last year subjected to demeaning gender testing which kept her out of the tracks for almost a year.
The tests came after she won the 800m woman's race in Berlin, Germany, last August. The results that she was a hermaphrodite were leaked to the media.
Dewey & LeBoeuf managing partner Greg Nott said her return to competition was the result of a "landmark settlement" with the International Association of Athletics Federations.
"Our direct negotiations with the IAAF representatives, through the mediator, have been ongoing for 10 months," Nott said.
The law firm's global litigation chairperson Jeffrey Kessler said: "Meetings have been held in Monaco, Istanbul and Paris, but due to the nature of the matter the parties resolved to keep the negotiations confidential.
"Hopefully, this resolution will set a precedent so that no female athlete in the future will have to experience the long delays and public scrutiny which Caster has been forced to endure."
The IAAF said in a statement: "The process initiated in 2009 in the case of Caster Semenya has now been completed.
"The IAAF accepts the conclusion of a panel of medical experts that she can compete with immediate effect."
The IAAF added: "The medical details of the case remain confidential and the IAAF will make no further comment on the matter."
Semenya, whose muscular physique and deep voice drew questions about her gender, said yesterday she was "thrilled" to return to women's track.
The furore over Semenya's gender first erupted after she lowered her personal best in the 800m by more than four seconds at the African Junior Championships, weeks before the 2009 World Championships.
She went on to lower her personal best to 1:55.45 in Berlin.
Semenya could be competing again as early as the World Junior Championships in Canada from July 19 and October's Commonwealth Games in Delhi.