Runner Caster Semenya Drops Out Of Competition After Tests Fuel Gender Speculation


John Kennedy / September 11, 2009

Runner Caster Semenya has dropped out of a South African race, after tests revealed evidence that she is a hermaphrodite.

According to reports out of Australia and England, Semenya has male and female sexual organs, with no ovaries and internal male testes that produce three-times more testosterone than an average female. Semenya was originally scheduled to run the 4,000 meters women’s event at the South African national cross-country championships in Pretoria on Saturday.

The shocking news has drawn criticism to the international press that broke the story.

“We have a girl who has performed and won. I don’t think we should play with people’s lives and privacy, said South African president Jacob Zuma. “Why should we not respect the privilege between doctor and patient?”

Sport and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile was the most vocal over the gender scandal.

“We see the media being the ones breaking the story, while those close to the matter are pleading ignorance,” Stofile says. “Just like before, Caster’s human rights are not respected at all. The humiliation she and her family suffered is still continuing. We are even seeing the greed factor starting to outstrip genuine concerns for her rights and future wellbeing.”

Stofile has since begun to consult lawyers regarding legal action against the International Association of Athletics Federation over the leaked information and possible human rights violations. -Linda Hobbs