Se­menya gen­der row reaches fever pitch

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

“There is still an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. There are no re­sults. It is a very sen­si­tive, del­i­cate mat­ter. She is el­i­gi­ble to run. We are wait­ing for the med­i­cal tests.”

The IAAF said yes­ter­day it had to con­duct a gen­der test on Se­menya to en­sure the 800m track phe­nom­e­non did not have a bi­o­log­i­cal or med­i­cal con­di­tion which would give her an un­fair ad­van­tage.

Davies de­nied that the IAAF had bro­ken con­fi­dences. “What needs to be said is that the only rea­son we came out with it was be­cause it was al­ready in the me­dia.”

He said: “In the old days there were phys­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tions; that was de­grad­ing. Now there is a bat­tery of blood tests, chro­mo­some tests to col­lect as much dif­fer­ent data as pos­si­ble.”

He de­nied that the al­le­ga­tions were of a racist na­ture, say­ing the pres­i­dent of the fed­er­a­tion was a black man.

Davies said they had not in­cluded her in a press con­fer­ence ear­lier this week to avoid hu­mil­i­at­ing her any fur­ther. “We ab­so­lutely care about her.”

The teenager’s stun­ning im­prove­ment in times, along with her mus­cu­lar build, fa­cial hair and deep voice, sparked spec­u­la­tion about her gen­der – just 24 hours be­fore she com­peted in the fi­nal of the 800m at the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onship in Berlin on Wed­nes­day, and won it in dra­matic fash­ion.

As the war of words in­ten­si­fied yes­ter­day, it emerged that the IAAF had briefed its Africa med­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Harold Adams, who is also Team SA’s doc­tor in Berlin, to ask Chuene to with­draw Se­menya a week ago. Chuene said he had cho­sen not to be­cause the IAAF had not con­tacted the ASA ex­ec­u­tive di­rectly.

Only a day be­fore her as­ton­ish­ing win, the scan­dal broke.

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