Sports scandals of the year (without mentioning Tiger Woods)
WE'VE looked back on the good but what about the bad and ugly - for those who love a bit of sporting scandal 2009 certainly didn't disappoint.
MAKING HEADLINES: Caster Semenya's performances at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin ignited a worldwide media interest (Getty Images)
Great Britain returned from the 2009 World Athletics Championships with six medals, their biggest haul in a decade.
Jess Ennis, Lisa Dobriskey and Jenny Meadows collected gold, silver and bronze respectively, but there was one woman who dominated the headlines in Berlin - Caster Semenya.
The South African arrived in the German capital having run 1:56.72 minutes three weeks previous, smashing her previous personal best by more than seven seconds to break Zola Budd's long-standing South African record and become African 800m junior champion.
With a muscular build, the 18-year-old had been compared with former Olympic 800m champion Marie Mutola, whose gender was questioned throughout her career without any substance to the allegations.
Under International Association of Athletics Federations rules there are only three ways an athlete can be suspended from competition - doping, questions over nationality or suspicions over gender.
Semenya was cleared to run but, with impeccable timing, the IAAF announced it would be launching an official investigation into Semenya's gender just three hours before the 800m final.
The teenager shrugged off the growing storm surrounding her and duly romped to victory in 1:55.45 ahead of Kenya's Janeth Jepkosgei and Meadows.
But World Championship gold only put further strain on the relationship between the IAAF and Athletics South Africa, with rumour and counter-rumour, claim and counter-claim.
IAAF President Lamine Diack admitted the affair should have been handled more sensitively while ASA head Leonard Chuene stepped down from the IAAF Council, saying: "Who are white people to question the makeup of an African girl? I say this is racism, pure and simple."
But Semenya's coach Wilfred Daniels believed the ASA should share the blame and quit over the "repulsive handling" of the debacle, while claiming his athlete was tricked into taking a gender test before going to Berlin.
Semenya returned to South Africa as a heroine, mobbed by fans on her arrival in Johannesburg, but as August turned to September, unsubstantiated reports emerged that the 800m world champion had failed a gender test.
Chuene later admitted he lied about whether Semenya had been gender tested before Berlin and was suspended by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, along with the ASA board and its members, pending a disciplinary investigation.
Semenya had been expected to learn her fate on November 20 at the IAAF Council meeting in Monaco but was instead told the gender tests had yet to be completed.
While Usain Bolt's exploits in Berlin were cause for fanfare, no party emerged from the Semenya debacle unscathed or with their reputation intact.
The affair continues to rumble on with only one truth - Semenya is 800m world champion. But whether we will see her defend her title in South Korea in 2011 is another matter altogether.