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Gender-test runner Semenya to keep gold medal, says South Africa

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Gender controversy continues
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • South African Olympic runner Caster Semenya will keep her gold medal, the country's sports ministry announced Thursday
  • Ministry added in a statement that the results of a gender test would not be made public
  • The world governing body for athletics, the IAAF, have refused to comment on the announcement
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(CNN) -- South African runner Caster Semenya will be allowed to keep the gold medal she won in the women's 800-meters at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, Germany, in August, the country's sports ministry announced Thursday.

In a statement on their official Web site the ministry added that Semenya had been found innocent of any wrongdoing but the widely anticipated results of gender tests conducted would not be made public.

"We have agreed with the IAAF that whatever scientific tests were conducted legally within the IAAF regulations will be treated as a confidential matter between patient and doctor," the statement read.

"As such there will be no public announcement of what the panel of scientists has found. We urge all South Africans and other people to respect this professional ethical and moral way of doing things."

The world governing body for athletics, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), have refused to comment on the announcement, only reiterating a statement published on their official Web site on Wednesday that the release of their gender-test findings would be delayed until "further notice."

We have agreed with the IAAF that whatever scientific tests were conducted will be treated as a confidential matter between patient and doctor
--The South African sports ministry

The IAAF had been expected to release its findings on February 20, but confirmed it had been in discussions with the South African Ministry of Sport and Recreation with a view to "resolving the issues surrounding Caster Semenya's participation in athletics."

The IAAF went on to say that the medical tests on Semenya had still to be completed.

"There will be no discussion of Semenya's case at the forthcoming IAAF Council Meeting to be held in Monaco on 20-21 November 2009. No further comment will be made on this subject until further notice," their statement read.

Reports in two newspapers in September said the results of the tests showed Semenya has both male and female characteristics. The IAAF has declined to confirm those reports.

The South African ministry added they had been unhappy with way the testing had been handled: "We have asked the IAAF to apologize at the way the whole Caster Semenya saga was dealt with.

"Their response is: 'It is deeply regrettable that information of a confidential nature entered the public domain.' The IAAF is adamant that the public discourse did not originate with them.

"We also cannot prove the contrary. It is our considered view that this chapter of blame apportioning must now be closed. The sport bodies must be allowed to deal with the rest of the investigations in terms of their own regulations," the statement added.

The controversy over Semenya erupted after she crushed her rivals in the 800 meters and secured victory in one minute, 55.45 seconds -- the best women's time in the world this year.

Semenya's masculine build and dominant performance fueled existing questions about her gender, and the IAAF -- which oversees the sport worldwide -- ordered tests to be carried out.