Semenya's Gender Results Questionable

September 11, 2009 2:12:40 PM PDT
The controversy over a South African runner has taken a strange turn. A published report said medical tests have found that Caster Semenya may be a hermaphrodite. Doubts were raised over Semenya's qualifications to compete as a woman. 18-year-old Caster Semenya's breakthrough victory in the 800-meter sprint at this year's world championships came easily compared to the controversy that has followed.

The International Association of Athletics Federation (I.A.A.F.) said it has the results of the gender test on Semenya.

Some media reports are claiming that the tests show she has both male and female sex organs. If reports she is a hermaphrodite are true, she could have an advantage over other female athletes because her body may produce three-times more testosterone than normal.

The I.A.A.F. ordered her to undergo chromosome and blood tests to answer allegations of doping. It will not confirm the results for months.

Back home, the allegations are sparking anger among her family members and countrymen. She is South Africa's golden girl and her family's pride and joy.

"I have no doubts, it's my girl," said Semenya's Mother, Dorcus.

The controversy has led many in South Africa to accuse the I.A.A.F. of racism.

Iit is not about whether people have the right to question whether she is a girl pretending to be a boy or a boy pretending to be a girl, it is about the manner in which this girl was particularly treated," said Political Analyst Matada Tsedu.

It is also about the future of international competition, and how to handle difficult gender identity questions. Do I see the day where there would be a third category at the Olympics, male, female, other? No. Sometimes that black and white world is necessary: male, female, even if the medical community would say there is a lot of grey here," said Christine Brennan with ESPN.

There is also of course one gold medal. It appears likely Semenya will keep hers because she won it, without cheating, on her own.

      MORE NATIONAL NEWS | TWEET@ABC30 | FREE ABC30 WIDGET
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
Breaking News E-Mail Alerts | Text Message Alerts
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More News on abc30.com
Local | California/State | Weather | Entertainment | Business | Politics | Sports | Health Watch | Consumer Watch | Mr. Food |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Load Comments