South African runner Caster Semenya says she doesn't care what anyone says about her as long as she's back on the track after a gender-test dispute. Photo: AFP

Trouble-plagued world champion South African runner Caster Semenya hopes to resume racing early next year after recovering from a back injury, her coach said Wednesday.

Semenya has not competed since the injury forced her to drop out of the October Commonwealth Games in India, where she had hoped to make a comeback to major international racing.

Coach Michael Seme told the Associated Press that Semenya was still being treated for the injury, but had resumed light training.

“I think she's going to start competing in January,” Seme said, adding her first return races will be in South Africa.

Semenya won the 2009 women's 800-meter world title in 2009, but that triumph was shadowed by questions about her gender. She underwent gender testing, sat out competition for 11 months and was finally cleared to run again by the world athletics governing body the IAAF in July.

Between July and October, she ran six low-key meets in Europe. – Sapa-AP