Report: Gold medalist is a hermaphrodite

Gender tests reveal Caster Semenya has male and female organs


The International Association of Athletics Federations will disqualify South African sprinter Caster Semenya from future events, according to reports from Australia’s Daily Telegraph. Semenya won the women’s 800 meter world championships race in Berlin last month, but her spectacular time brought her gender into question. Tests revealed that she has both male and female sexual organs, but no womb or ovaries, and a testosterone level three times that of the average female. The IAAF is also reportedly planning to advise her to have surgery to fix the condition, which is potentially deadly.

Daily Telegraph

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Report: Gold medalist is a hermaphrodite

  1. I think it would take the wisdom of Solomon to figure out what is the fair thing to do here, and by extension, how to treat transgendered individuals as well. Barring Solomon's reappearance, the IAAF has done a credible job on a difficult matter.

    • Agreed. How to deal with this is an impossibly difficult issue. There will likely never be a day when a third-gendered competition category is slotted into athletic events (and should there necessarily be? Who knows?) so it's always going to be a case of making the best of a very difficult-to-call situation.

  2. Well they coudl have done a better job by figuring this out before she/he was in the spotlight.

  3. I was under the impression that "intersexed" was the more appropriate term to use.

  4. Not really surprising. Is there anyone who didn't think Caster was at least suffering from some sort of genetic anomaly? The decision will be controversial no matter which way it goes. I feel bad for the women if Caster is allowed to compete though, how can you make up for your opponent having 4 times your testosterone levels?

  5. Considering that there are many varieties of intersexed individuals, in what category will we require them to compete? If the hormone levels are not equivalent to that of a standard male or female, do we deny them all opportunity to compete? Not with men, not with women? This does not seem fair either. What of a phenotypically "normal" individual who happens to have higher levels of any hormone? When one begins to look closely at the many ways in which the human body can develop, the line between classifications becomes less definite.

  6. Nobody wins here. She was winning meets and breaking records just by using what nature gave her. Turns out what nature gave her is against the rules. Obviously the officials cannot allow her to go on competing against women. Equally obvious is that she is not at the level to compete against the world's best men. That leaves her out of luck – and a promising track career dead in its tracks. Seems a shame, but what other answer is there?

  7. She is beautiful! She is a woman! She deserves the gold and if she ran against the men she'd win the gold too!
    She is an inspiration to all women across the globe!

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