What do you reckon?
An endocrinologist, a gynaecologist, a gender expert and a psychologist are involved in a round of “gender verification” tests on Caster Semenya, who overnight won gold in the 800m at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin. The alarm bells were raised some time ago after Semenya, who has lived her whole life as a woman, started demolishing fields and winning by extraordinary margins.
The Daily Mail has an excellent round up here of the story, including some photos of previous female competitors who were later revealed as men - but there’s more photos and a video interview with Semenya below, where you can hear her speaking.
International Association of Athletics Federations spokesman Nick Davies said:
It’s a medical issue. It’s not an issue of cheating. We’re more concerned for the person not to make this something which is humiliating for her and something which is going to affect her in a negative way. This is why you will appreciate we have to be discreet. She is a human being who was born as a woman and who has grown up all her life as a woman but who is now in a position where this is being questioned.
Spot on. It would be nothing short of a personal catastrophe for Semenya if the tests show she isn’t who she thinks she is. Either way, it’s impressive that she’s undergoing the tests and staying focused on her running.
Here’s Caster being interviewed:
And a tortured first question to Michael Johnson in a panel discussion: “First of all, what’s your take on how ... well, first of all how good an athlete Semenya is.”
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