Saturday, August 22, 2009

South Africa to ask the UN to intervene in Semenya saga

By Khanyisa Tabata
22 August 2009

South Africa will lodge a complaint with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights over the gender test ordered on the country’s middle-distance runner Caster Semenya.

The Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation says the Commissioner will need to investigate the gross and severe undermining of rights and privacy by the ruling athletics body, the International Amateur Athletics Federation.

Semenya’s gender has been under scrutiny since her arrival in Berlin for the World Athletics Championship where she won a gold medal in the women’s 800 meters race.

The athletics body has asked Semenya to undergo a gender verification test, given her muscular physique.

The IAAF yesterday said it had to conduct the test to make sure she does not have an unfair advantage over her opponents after a sudden burst onto the scene.


At Sunday, 23 August, 2009, Blogger Alessandra said...

Racism? Please.

In the 1976 Olympics, there was a reason why milky white, blonde Eastern European female athletes had deep voices, male-like musculature, little mustaches, and incredibly powerful performances. That reason was not pretty. Yes, they were women, but they were “chemically altered” women. And it was an investigation that got to the truth. Sports cheating technology has come a long way since then, and it surely has not been stopped in Berlin (several athletes have been caught cheating already). Is Semenya simply one of the latest examples?

In every case where there was a major scandal about doping or sex impersonation in sports in the past, the first reaction of the coaches and respective officials is one of outrage and absolute denial. Not any different in this SA case. The bringing up of racism to impede an investigation would have been totally suspect to me. As long as a full investigation is carried out related to Semenya, I don't care how much they screech racism.

Let the tests begin and the blame fall where it should, once the results are out.


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