Laura Muir refuses to enter Caster Semenya debate after heartbreak
Laura Muir was close to tears after missing out on a world championship 1500m medal by seven hundredths of a second to South Africa’s Caster Semenya.
Muir had led for much of the race but ran out of gas down the home straight and was beaten to bronze by Semenya, the Olympic 800m champion. South Africa’s Semenya later attempted to shut down debate over hyperandrogenism, the medical condition she has which is characterised by excessive levels of male sex hormones such as testosterone.
Athletics’ world governing body, the IAAF, is putting together a case to convince the court of arbitration for sport that Semenya’s condition gives her an unfair advantage over her rivals. Semenya could be forced to undergo hormone replacement therapy or face being unable to compete in the future.
“I really don’t have time for nonsense,” she said. “I do not think about something that might happen in eight months. I don’t focus on the IAAF. It’s not my business. My business is to train hard and see what I come up with in competition.”
Muir refused to be drawn into the complex debate round Semenya’s participation in these championships. “I’ve not got anything to say about that,” she said.
The race was won by Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon in 4min 02.59sec while experience proved valuable for the 30-year-old American Jenny Simpson who ran an exquisitely judged race to take silver.
London 2017 organisers have ordered a floor in one of the hotels used by competitors to be quarantined after an outbreak of gastroenteritis.
Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, a medal prospect in the 400m, was given medical dispensation to withdraw from the 200m heats after throwing up in the call room.
A number of other athletes staying at the same hotel also have gastroenteritis, including the Ireland 400m hurdler Thomas Barr. “I’m gutted to have to withdraw from the semi-final. My whole year has been focused on the world championships. To not be able to go out and compete for Ireland is beyond disappointing.”
An organisers’ statement read: “Those affected have been supported by both team and local organising committee medical staff. In addition we have been working with Public Health England to ensure the situation is managed and contained.
“As a result, further advice and guidelines have been issued to team doctors and support staff – standard procedure for such an occurrence where a number of teams are occupying championship accommodation.”