Semenya told to take gender test

Avatar for ukgirl82
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Registered: 09-17-2005
Semenya told to take gender test
8
Fri, 08-21-2009 - 5:27am

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/athletics/8210471.stm

New world 800m champion Caster Semenya has been asked to take a gender test, according to athletics' governing body.

The International Association of Athletics Federations says it demanded the test three weeks ago amid fears she should not be able to run as a woman.

IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said the "extremely complex, difficult" test results were not due for several weeks.

The South African athletics federation insists it is "completely sure" that Semenya, 18, is a female.

"We would not have entered her in the female competition if we had any doubts," said a statement.

Semenya won gold in impressive fashion on Wednesday, leaving her rivals trailing as she won in a time of one minute, 55.45 seconds.

(more at link)



iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2009
Fri, 08-21-2009 - 12:11pm
I really feel for her. Can you imagine being her age and having people tell you they don't think you're a girl and you have to have tests to prove you are?
Avatar for ukgirl82
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2005
Fri, 08-21-2009 - 12:34pm
I imagine it must be embarassing but apparently it's not the first time the question of gender has come up in something like this. And in the past, when it has been questioned, the gender test was often failed. So the officials have good reason to question it, I just think it should have happened early and been done quieter.



Here's another article which goes over some of the other gender issues in sports: http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/more-sport/2009/08/20/top-10-gender-benders-in-sport-115875-21610519/




Three years ago Indian runner Santhi Soundarajan had to hand back her 800m silver medal after failing a gender test at the Asian Games in Doha. Sadly, feeling publicly humiliated, Soundarajan (below) later attempted suicide.



3. Back in 2005 a judge in Zimbabwe sentenced a leading youth athlete to four years in prison for competing in female events, after Samukeliso Sithole was caught with his pants down and found to be a man.



The 18-year-old, who earlier claimed to be a hermaphrodite, notched up seven gold medals in women's competitions in 2004.



After six witnesses - including two doctors – confirmed that Sithole was a man, she / he confessed and then was locked up.



4. Stanisława Walasiewicz (later Stella Walsh) won Olympic gold for Poland in the 100 metres at the 1932 Los Angles Games. Four years later she won silver in the same event.



So popular was Walasiewicz in her homeland that she was named Polish sportsperson of the year in 1930 and from 1932-4 while in her career she set over 100 national and world records, including 51 Polish records, 18 world records, and eight European records.



And she would have gone down as one of the greatest sportswomen in history if she had not been caught up in an armed robbery in 1980. Walasiewicz was a bystander in the heist in Cleveland, Ohio, and was shot dead. An autopsy revealed that she possessed male genitalia.



9. Ewa Klobukowska was the first Olympic athlete to fail a gender test. In 1967 she was found to have ‘one chromosome too many’. Three years earlier she had stormed to prominence at the Tokyo Olympics having won gold in the women's 4x100 m relay and the bronze medal in women's 100 metres.



10. World record breaking high jumper Hermann Ratjen was forced by the Nazis in Germany to pretend to be a woman at the Berlin Games in 1936. The Nazis wanted to ensure that Germany won much more medals than they had done the previous Games – and many more than the dominant Americans – and Ratjen, or Dora, as he became known, missed out on a medal that year – he / she came fourth in the high jump.



But he won the European Championships in Vienna in 1938, setting a world record for the ladies high jump with a 5 feet 5.75 inches leap.



Ratjen was only found out while travelling back from the European Championships. Although Ratjen was wearing a skirt, two women spotted him with a five o'clock shadow at a train station and a doctor was summoned and his sex revealed.



Though Ratjen never competed again, because of his ‘ambiguous genitalia’, in 1957 he had been made to disguise himself as a woman “for the sake of the honor and glory of Germany”. He added: “For three years I lived the life of a girl. It was most dull.”



iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2009
Fri, 08-21-2009 - 1:14pm
It sounds like a few of those people you listed could be intersexed. I really don't have an answer on how it should be handled by the various sports organizations. I can't imagine living as a woman for your whole entire life and then being told you are male and then to have it happen in such a public way.
Avatar for ukgirl82
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2005
Sat, 08-22-2009 - 3:55am
I know, it must be very hard to endure, but even if
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Sat, 08-22-2009 - 8:29am
Birth certificate backs SA gender

Caster Semenya's birth certificate


Caster Semenya's birth certificate clearly states she is female

The BBC has seen the birth certificate of South African athlete Caster Semenya, which states that the new 800m world champion is female.

Ms Semanya, 18, has been told to take a gender test after several remarkable improvements in recent performances. More...........


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8215112.stm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Sat, 08-22-2009 - 8:39am

"they have to determine if that puts

 


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Avatar for ddnlj
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 08-24-2009 - 9:00am

Can I ask the really stupid question as to why this is such a big issue? Would not a simple trip to a doctor clear everything up?


Smart aleck that I am, I'd invite all the skeptics into a closed room, drop my drawers and then say "happy now?"

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Avatar for ukgirl82
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2005
Thu, 08-27-2009 - 11:34am

The simple act of dropping one's pants was the standard gender test decades ago but at some point it was deemed too crude. A simple blood test was then introduced but the issue can be complicated by chromosomal issues. I think one of the links posted explained this but maybe not.


There were indeed doctors involved in the gender test but the matter is more complicated than that.