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August 20, 2009
by Jeff Briggs
By now you've probably heard the story of Caster Semenya
, the South African woman's 800m runner who just won the gold at the world championships in Berlin. Her winning the race is not the story; the story is that the International Association of Athletics Federations has launched an investigation to determine whether Semenya should be allowed to compete as a woman. Because some of her competitors are convinced she is, in fact, not female.
"There are people who shouldn't compete with us," Cusma told Italian journalists. "She is not a woman, she is a man. We let people win medals, and they don't deserve it.
But Semenya's father and grandmother contend that she is indeed 100% woman.
The 18-year-old runner's father, Jacob, told the Sowetan newspaper: "She is my little girl. ... I raised her and I have never doubted her gender. She is a woman and I can repeat that a million times."
It will be interesting to keep an eye on this story and the IAAF investigation, which could take two to three weeks to yield results.
Is Woman's World Track Champion Really a Man? - Philip Hersh, Chicago Tribune
Runner's Father, Grandmother Dismiss Gender Uproar - AP