Semenya 'humiliated' by gender test
The gender controversy surrounding South Africa's teenage 800 metres word champion Caster Semenya has been humiliating for her, the country's athletics chief said today.
Semenya's rapid improvement over the past year, in which she has shaved more than eight seconds off her personal best in the two-lap race, prompted the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to order a gender test.
"I will continue to defend the girl, I will continue to do anything, even if I am to be kicked out of Berlin, Germany, but I am not going to let that girl be humiliated in the manner that she was humiliated because she has not committed a crime whatsoever. Her crime was to be born the way she is born," said Athletics South Africa president Leonard Chuene.
"And now people are not happy, and on that basis she is isolated like a leper, like she has got a disease that will affect other people, and I don't think it's proper," he told Reuters Television.
The IAAF said on Wednesday, hours before Semenya was due to run in the 800 final, the procedure for gender testing had started.
Powerfully built but smooth running, the 18-year-old clocked one minute, 55.45 seconds for the year's fastest time and a personal best by more than a second to win gold.
"I think what they should have done is to protect her until the results are out and then we sit and look at it," Chuene said.
"Because even if the results are out, if we sit and look at it, at home they would like to have a second opinion, these are her parents, this is not going to be a simple thing.
"We are going to be dealing with a case where the parents are going to come in, where the government is going to come in strongly, and that is going to be the case and that is what I am saying as the head of the federation," he said.
IAAF general secretary Pierre Weiss, who replaced Semenya at the medallists' news conference, said an investigation into her gender was underway in South Africa and Berlin, adding the IAAF had allowed her to compete, giving her the benefit of doubt.
"But one question is clear," Weiss said. "If at the end of the investigation it is proven the athlete is not a female, we will withdraw the result of the competition today."
He added it could take weeks before a conclusion was reached.
Chuene said the IAAF never officially approached South African athletics officials on this issue.
"We have not been approached... these are the challenges and this is how we are dealing with the challenges, but we have not been approached officially."
"If we have been approached officially I want to see the letter that says Athletics South Africa, this is a challenge, can we sit and talk. Therefore I am saying, maybe this case could have been handled better," Chuene said.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United's David Moyes may have more joy if he drops the frustrated Robin Van Persie
Tim Sherwood rules out being No 2 at Tottenham Hotspur following embarrassing Chelsea defeat
England 29 Wales 18 match report: Stuart Lancaster's men enjoy their day in the sun at expense of weary Wales
England 29 Wales 18 player ratings: Who was the star man at Twickenham?
FA Cup semi-finals: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirms Lukasz Fabianski will start in goal against Wigan Athletic
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Russia has made 'big miscalculation' over Ukraine warns Hague
- 5 Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...