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Semenya signs with South African football team

Caster Semenya's athletics career has been put on hold while she appeals the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to uphold the IAAF's testosterone limit, which dictates that the South African must take hormone blockers.
Caster Semenya's athletics career has been put on hold while she appeals a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold the IAAF's testosterone limit.

Olympic gold-medalist runner Caster Semenya has signed with South African football club JVW Girls.

Semenya announced the news on Twitter on Friday, with a picture of her holding the team's shirt next to the caption: "Happy to announce my signing with @jvwgirlsfootball for 2020 season. Looking forward to this journey."

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The middle-distance runner -- who won gold at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2009 and 2017 world championships -- is in the midst of an appeal against the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which recently decided to uphold the International Association of Athletics Federations' testosterone limit.

The court's ruling means Semenya, 28, must take hormone blockers if she wishes to continue her career as middle-distance runner.

In the meantime, the South African will play for JVW, a football club founded by South Africa women's captain Janine van Wyk. The club, which competes in the Sasol league, serves primarily as an academy for girls.

Semenya told the club's website: "I am grateful for this opportunity, and I appreciate the love and support I already get from the team.

"I am looking forward to this new journey and hopefully I can contribute as much as I can to the club."

Van Wyk, who recently departed JVW to sign for Danish side Fortuna Hjorring, said: "I am extremely elated to have such an iconic athlete join my football club.

"I am absolutely honoured that out -- of all the other women's clubs around the world -- she has chosen JVW as the club where she would like to start showcasing her football skills.

"I welcomed her at her first training with the team on Tuesday and was impressed to see that she definitely has all the fundamentals.

"I look forward to her working with Coach Ciara and our First Team where I am sure she will sharpen up and get ready to play in 2020."

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