Semenya gender row reaches fever pitch
“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.