A South African athlete will be forced to have a test to prove she
is a woman after storming to victory in the 800-metres at the World
Caster Semenya's muscular physique and quick rise to the top of the sport have sparked widespread speculation about her gender.
The 18-year-old first aroused suspicions by posting the fastest 800m
time in the world this year while winning gold at the African junior
The International Association of Athletics Federations, the sport's
governing body, has ordered the teenager to have a gender verification
It will involve a physical medical evaluation, and includes reports
from a gynaecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist, an internal
medicine specialist and an expert on gender.
IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said the investigation will take several weeks to complete.
"The situation today is that we do not have any conclusive evidence that she should not be allowed to run," he said.
"It would be wrong today to take a decision to withdraw an athlete.
This is a medical condition. It is nothing that she has done.
"There is a need to make sure rules are followed. We are more
concerned for the person and not to make this as something that is
South Africa team manager Phiwe Mlangeni-Tsholetsane would not
confirm or deny that Semenya was having a gender test, but said "there
was no cheating on our part".
"We entered Caster as a woman and we want to keep it that way," he said.
"Our conscience is clear in terms of Caster. We have no reservations at all about that."
Semenya rushed past waiting reporters after winning the gold medal
in Berlin on Wednesday night, refusing to comment on the row
However, earlier in the week she had told how athletics was not the be all and end all for her.
"I could walk away from this sport next year if I feel like it," she said.
Semenya won the 800m final in 1min 55sec - the best time in the world this year.
She beat defending champion Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya convincingly, while Great Britain's Jennifer Meadows took the bronze.
However, the South African could be stripped of the gold depending on the test results.
IAAF general secretary Pierre Weiss said: "If at the end of the
investigation it is proven that the athlete is not female, we will
withdraw the medal.
"But today there is no proof and the benefit of doubt must always be in favour of the athlete."
Meadows said she had tried to put the controversy over Semenya to one side.
"We had to keep a level head and do the business," she said after the final.
"We all may have our personal opinions, but professionally you just have to go out there and do your best in the race."
Dunno bout you but she/he scares the fuck outta me