Friday, September 11, 2009

IAAF hold tight on Semenya results

South Africa's Caster Semenya has been at the centre of rumours since winning gold [AFP]The IAAF – International Association of Athletics Federations – has confirmed it has received the results of gender tests on South African runner Caster Semenya, but is still reviewing them and will not issue any final decision until November.
The IAAF did not confirm or deny Australian newspaper reports that the recently crowned women's world 800-metre champion has male and female sexual organs.
The Australian newspaper reported in its Friday edition that medical reports on the 18-year-old Semenya indicate she has no ovaries, but rather has internal male testes, which are producing large amounts of testosterone.

Staying quiet
"We would like to emphasise that these should not be considered as official statements by the IAAF,'' the federation said in a statement regarding the reports that first appeared in News Limited and Fairfax newspapers.
"We can officially confirm that gender verification test results will be examined by a group of medical experts,'' the statement continued.
"No decision on the case will be communicated until the IAAF has had the opportunity to complete this examination. We do not expect to make a final decision on this case before the next meeting of the IAAF Council which takes place in Monaco on November 20-21.''
After dominating her race at the world championships in Berlin last month, Semenya underwent blood and chromosome tests, as well as a gynaecological examination.
IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said he could not confirm the Australian news reports.
"I simply haven't seen the results,'' Davies said

"We have received the results from Germany, but they now need to be examined by a group of experts and we will not be in a position to speak to the athlete about them for at least a few weeks.

"After that, depending on the results, we will meet privately with the athlete to discuss further action.''
The athlete has received overwhelming support from her home country [AFP]Angry father
Semenya's father, Jacob, expressed anger, saying people who insinuate his daughter is not a woman "are sick. They are crazy.''
He said he had not been told anything by the IAAF, Athletics South Africa or his daughter.
"I know nothing,'' he said.
Davies said the newspaper's report "should be treated with caution.''
The IAAF has said Semenya probably would keep her medal because the case was not related to a doping matter.
"Our legal advice is that, if she proves to have an advantage because of the male hormones, then it will be extremely difficult to strip the medal off her, since she has not cheated,'' Davies said.
"She was naturally made that way, and she was entered in Berlin by her team and accepted by the IAAF. But let's wait and see once we have the final decision.''
Leonard Chuene, the president of Athletics South Africa, reported that all he has heard from the IAAF is that the test results will be available in November.
"The results are not in the country yet, so we cannot comment on anything,'' Chuene said.

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