Being fair to Semenya not the only issue
ACCORDING to a report released in April 2019 by the Court of Arbitration in Sport, Caster Semenya (the reigning Olympic 800m champion) has testes and male chromosomes, but suffers from a genetic disorder (5-alpha reductase deficiency) “in which normal male sexual development fails in utero, resulting in a pseudo-vagina (that is to say, genitals that appear to be a vagina at birth, but are in fact the result of an extremely undervirilised penis)”.
https:// matthewbrealey. medium.com/caster-semenya-maleor-female-c5502364d564
Due to this condition, which is usually characterised by testes that are hidden in the abdomen, Semenya was raised as a girl and probably did not realise she was male until she reached puberty and failed to menstruate.
Be that as it may, the fact of the matter is that Caster is, biologically speaking, a man and has testosterone levels that are far higher than the women she competes against. This allows her to build muscle much easier than would ordinarily be the case, and also provides her, according to the experts, with several other advantages.
Consequently, the demand that she reduce her testosterone levels ( which could be done by taking an oral contraceptive or removing the testes surgically) is understandable. We cannot have different rules for different sporting-codes and therefore have to take cognisance of the fact that a female boxer or MMA fighter could be seriously injured by an intersex athlete whose only claim to being a woman stems from the fact that she was raised as a girl and still identifies as a woman.
The desire to be fair to intersex athletes must play second-fiddle to the need to be fair.
TERENCE GRANT | Cape Town