Lawyer denies Semenya suit reports

Caster Semenya’s lawyers have described as “nonsense” media reports they are planning to sue the International Association of Athletics Federations and Athletics South Africa for multi-million-euro sums.

A Swedish newspaper and athletics websites reported prior to Christmas that Greg Nott, her lawyer from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, intended to sue the IAAF for €83m and ASA for €12m as the world 800 metres champion’s gender row continues.

It was Nott who successfully represented double-amputee Oscar Pistorius on a pro bono basis against an IAAF decision to ban him from competing in able-bodied track events, and in particular attempting to qualify for the Olympics in Beijing last year.

Nott’s company, with the same agreement, have been representing Semenya since September and are currently negotiating with the IAAF on resolving the teenager’s future participation in athletics.

The case is almost certain to involve financial compensation but Nott categorically denied this morning, in an e-mail to Press Association Sport, that Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP had ever announced their intentions of seeking the amount of damages detailed by media sources.

“It is absolute nonsense,” Nott said. “We did not release any such statement.

“We wish Caster and her family a happy family time over this season of goodwill.”

The outcome of medical tests carried out under strict medical supervision at the request of the IAAF following Semenya’s victory in Berlin have still to be announced.

It was expected there would be a decision in late November at the last council meeting of the world athletics governing body but it was postponed as the legal deliberations on the case were still not completed.

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