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Posted: September 11, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: IAAF Remains Mum On Caster Semenya

From David Monti
© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved RaceResultsWeekly.com

The International Association of Athletics Federation has not yet reached a decision on the question of women's world 800m champion Caster Semenya's gender, despite a recent article in the Australian press which reported that Semenya's gender was indeed in doubt.

"We can officially confirm that gender verification test results will be examined by a group of medical experts," read a statement released by the world's athletics governing body today. "NO decision on the case will be communicated until the IAAF has had the opportunity to complete this examination. We do not expect to make a final decision on this case before the next meeting of the IAAF Council which takes place in Monaco on November 20-21."

Australian reporter Mike Hurst wrote earlier this week in the Daily Telegraph that information had leaked from the IAAF that the tests being performed on Semenya revealed that the 18 year-old "had no womb or ovaries," and that she was an "hermaphrodite," a person with gender characteristics of both men and women. Hurst also reported that Semya had "three times the amount of testosterone that a 'normal' female would have."

Semenya's arrival on the world middle distance scene this year has rightly received a lot of attention, simply because of the massive improvements she has recorded in her marks. Her best time for the two-lap distance in 2008 was a modest 2:08.00. But, by March of this year her time was down to 2:00.58, then plummeted to 1:56.72 at the African Junior Championships where she won the gold medal by nearly five seconds (she also won the 1500m gold medal). Semenya carried that momentum into the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, where she easily won the world title.

Semenya has been strongly defended by both her family and the South African athletics federation who claim her gender has never been in doubt.

"She's my little girl," her father, Jacob, told a Sowetan newspaper last month.


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