Family hit back over Semenya 'gender verification'
Thursday 20 August 2009
After watching their daughter take the gold medal for South Africa in the World Championships 800 metres, Caster Semenya’s family should have spent today basking in the reflected glory of their offspring.
Instead they found themselves having to deny allegations that she was in fact a he, in a row that even the South African Government became embroiled in.
Gossip surrounding Semenya’s gender had surrounded the runner all week, but it came to a head yesterday when, after the 18-year-old had won the gold in 1min 55.45sec, the International Association of Athletics Federations announced that it had asked the girl to provide “gender verification documentation”.
Today the runner’s relatives were forced to defend their daughter. Her mother Dorcus Semenya said: “I know who and what my child is. Mokgadi Caster is a girl and no one can change that.”
Jacob Semenya, her father, added: “She is my little girl. I raised her and I have never doubted her gender. She is a woman and I can repeat that a million times.”
Her grandmother Maphuthi Sekgala, said: “She called me after the heats and told me that they think she’s a man. What can I do when they call her a man, when she’s really not a man? It is God who made her look that way.”
Even the South African Government got involved. A statement from the African National Congress said: “We condemn the motives of those who have made it their business to question her gender. Caster is not the only woman athlete with a masculine build and the International Association of Athletics Federation should know better.”
Latest in Sport
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Chelsea make £16m bid for Douglas Costa, Fabian Delph to join Liverpool or Spurs, Sergio Ramos latest
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? And full match card
Cristiano Ronaldo vine: Real Madrid forward sent-off for kicking and striking opponent during 2-1 win over Cordoba
Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista fee agreed as Gunners make £13.5m bid to sign Villarreal defender - reports
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...