By Tom Degun

Caster_Semenya_2November 23 - The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has revealed its ruling Council will issue a set of guidelines on how to deal with athletes with ambiguous sexual characteristics in order to avoid a repeat of the Caster Semenya debacle.

Semenya, who is still only 19, claimed a sensational gold in the 800 metres at the World Championships in Berlin last year, but following the victory questions were raised about whether she had a physical condition that might give her an unfair advantage over other female racers.

The South African was withdrawn from international competition by the IAAF and was not allowed to compete again until July after a series of complex and strenuous tests cleared her to return to competition after concluding that she didn't have an unfair advantage.

The IAAF's handling of the case spurred a number of high-profile athletes, including retired American 400m star Michael Johnson, to slam the organisation for its response.

However, the IAAF has reacted by announcing that new guidelines will prevent such an incident happening in the future with the aid of a new Disorder of Sexual Development (DSD) guideline.

IAAF deputy secretary-general Nick Davies said: "The IAAF continues to work with its appointed medical and scientific experts and the international sports community, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to formulate new regulations for the management of cases of hyperandrogenism (a medical condition in particular characterised by excessive production of androgens) arising in athletics.

"This work is now at an advanced stage and will be finalised in the coming months.

"A full package of documents will be presented to the IAAF Council for its approval at its next meeting in Daegu in April 2011 and the current intention is that the new regulations will be implemented with effect from May 1, 2011.

"The IAAF will also complete in the coming months all necessary technical and logistical arrangements required to set up a global system for the management of future cases on a worldwide basis."

Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC's medical commission and a man who has been instrumental in the process of forming the DSD, added: "This needs to be a step-by-step procedure.

"Our hope is that, in the end, we will be able to clarify this whole matter to the satisfaction of the sports community."

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September 2010: South African Parliament calls Caster Semenya "mister" in official report
August 2010: South African officials to face charges over Semenya scandal
July 2010: Semenya cleared to run again after a year's investigation into gender
June 2010: Semenya still in limbo after press conference cancelled
April 2010: Semenya claims she will return to track in June