Report claims South African runner is intersex

Jessica Geen September 11, 2009
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Caster Semenya, the South African runner whose gender has come under scrutiny, is intersex, an Australian newspaper has claimed.

Although gender tests on the athlete have been completed, the results will not be released for another two weeks while they are examined by experts.

However, the Sydney Daily Telegraph claims a source from the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has confirmed Semenya has both male and female sexual organs.

The report said the 18-year-old has three times the usual level of testosterone for a woman and has internal testes rather than ovaries and a uterus.

Semenya was hailed as a heroine in her country when she won the 800m in 1min 55.45 secs but since she arrived at the Berlin Athletics contest, there have been rumours over her apparent facial hair and masculine appearance.

The athlete is currently keeping a low profile but her mother has reacted angrily to the latest report, telling South Africa’s Star newspaper that she and Semenya’s father had not been consulted over developments.

IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said: “The statements in the Australian press should be treated with caution as they are not official statements by the IAAF.

“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.”

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