Caster feels uncomfortable with fame after gender tests controversy
LONDON: South African runner Caster Semenya says she isn’t comfortable with the fame she has acquired since her world championship title was overshadowed by gender test revelations.
Semenya won the women ’s 800 metres at the world championships in Berlin on August 19.
“People want to stare at me now. They want to touch me,” Semenya said.
“I’m supposed to be famous but I don’t think I like it so much.”
The International Association of Athletics Federations is currently reviewing gender test results to deter mine whether Semenya is eligible to compete as a woman.
The IAAF has refused to confirm or deny Australian media reports that the tests indicate Semenya has both male and female sex organs.
A decision is expected to be announced next Friday.
The 18-year-old Semenya won the 800 world title in a season’s best 1 minute, 55.45 seconds. Before the final, the IAAF said it had ordered gender tests be conducted on Semenya because of her muscular build and rapid improvement in times.
Besides the inter national intrigue created by the gender test, the case has also entangled the president of the South African athletics federation, Leonard Chuene.
In September, Chuene admitted he lied about his knowledge of gender tests perfor med on Semenya in South Africa before the worlds. He has since been suspended.
Semenya, however, appears to be happiest when she is training with others at home in South Africa.
“Everyone just accepts me,” Semenya said in the interview, which will be published in full today.
“They know who I am. I am just Caster to these guys. I feel good with them.” – AP