South African athlete Caster Semenya has learned that she will be entitled to retain her 800-metre gold medal regardless of the results of tests to ascertain whether she is really a man or a woman.
Semenya, who won the medal at the Berlin International Association of Athletics Federations (IAFF) World Championships, has also revealed her glamorous side in a makeover for a South African magazine.
Ever since she arrived at the Berlin Athletics contest there were rumours that her apparent facial hair and rather masculine appearance might actually be because she is a man.
Rumours became so intense that the International Association of Athletics Federations asked Athletics South Africa (ASA) to carry out a “gender verification” test on her.
Yesterday, the IAAF said it would take another two weeks for the results of the tests to be analysed.
“Only then, with conclusive evidence, would we be in a position to make an educated decision based on that evidence,” Nick Davies of the IAFF told Associated Press. “My information is that it will take between eight days and two weeks to be in a position to speak to and decide where to go.”
But regardless of the results of the tests, it is likely that the athlete will be able to retain her gold medal as women’s champion. “There is no automatic disqualification of results in a case like this,” Mr Davies said. “This is not a doping case at present, so it shouldn’t be considered as one where you have a retroactive stripping of results.”
The front cover of You Magazine shows Semenya following a makeover by the magazine’s stylists. “I didn’t do this to prove a point but rather to have fun. I don’t give a damn what people say about me. I like me the way I am and who cares what other people say?” Semenya told the magazine.
“I enjoyed the shoot, wish I could do more, but I can’t because I don’t have time for them. I have training to prepare for the Commonwealth Games, which are soon, and [studies] to get through at the same time.”