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Caster Semenya: Women and Men's Track Star?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kevin Kirby, Sep 11, 2009.


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    Amazing news from the world of track and field today. The South African runner, Caster Semenya, who recently won a gold medal in an international women's 800 meter race was allegedly found to have both male and female genitalia, to have internal testicles with high levels of testosterone. This is an unprecedented event in the world of track and field (if the story is true) and may create the need for rule changes within the international track and field community.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/athletics/article6829813.ece

    If these preliminary stories are indeed true, should this individual be allowed to continue competing in the woman's division in track races or be forced to compete against the men in their races?? What say you??
     

    Attached Files:

  2. I dont beleive that she will be allowed to compete against women due to the 3 times normal level of testosterone found in Women. Its a natural form of ´doping´.

    But I tell you that I feel very sorry for her as she will not beat the men and therefore her running career is over. She did not do this to cheat just a genetic mess up.
     
  3. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Articles:
    6
    Someone at the IAAF needs a bullet to the head for they way they handled this...

    Here we have a teenage "girl" who probably did not know "she" was like this. According to the press report in the Herald & Age here:
    Imagine what "she" is going through now? Why was this not kept confidential until "she" was informed? Why were procedures for "her"(eg counselling) not put in place before the IAAF leaked this to the media? Someone's head should be rolled...
     
  4. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Quite agree Craig, and just to ensure that the poor girl can never forget this, the race relations industry is now using her as a political pawn. The ANC and other organisations have set up a hue and cry that "it's only because she is black".

    Altogether a humiliation for her, a demeaning reflection of the IAAF and those others who have taken it upon themselves to become involved, and an unedifying spectacle for followers of sport.

    Bill Liggins
     
  5. Deborah Ferguson

    Deborah Ferguson Active Member

    Hi All
    I couldn't agree more with the above comments. I feel very sad for this person, and `she` is a real person. I think it's appalling that all the medical information etc. was splashed across the media worldwide. Whatever happened to patient medical confidentiality ?
    Regards
    Deborah
     
  6. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Articles:
    6
    I would not be very sympathetic towards "her" if she competed knowing this was the case and was trying to deceive everyone. However, from what I read, "she" did not know....
     
  7. This is rather sensational news so the media will have no regard for medical ethics here. I feel sorry for Semenya since this is all no fault of her own.

    One needs to also consider the women athletes that have competed and will compete against Semenya and whether it would be fair for these women, who presumably have grown up with normal levels of male/female hormones for a woman, to compete with someone that has unknowingly been made more man-like due to a congenital defect. This, I see, to be a real dilemma for Semenya and the track community in that probably no woman will want to compete against Semenya in an all woman's race from here on due to the "unfair advantage" that Semenya possesses, at no fault of her own.

    Like I said, this is an amazing story that will certainly do more to educate people as to the sexual variances in the human species than any other news story that I can ever remember, but unfortunately at the expense of a talented teenage athlete, her family and her friends.
     
  8. B. Englund

    B. Englund Active Member

    It´s all a big tragedy. try to work out the anagram for her name though. just a funny reflecion in all the mess...
     
  9. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    If 'she' had her male genitalia surgically removed would that solve the physical component of the problem?

    I imagine that there is an underlying genetic abnormality?

    Without male genitals but with sex genes not quite corresponding to those of normal women would she be eligible to compete against women?

    Even if the physical problem could be resolved can she ever recover from the psychological trauma?

    Bill Donaldson
     
  10. Donnchadhjh

    Donnchadhjh Active Member

    Good question Bill,

    I guess the answer to that would be to test her female bits to see check they function correctly (as in hormonally), they could then consider removing her male bits surgically. That would leave the IAAF without a leg to stand on.

    The psychological damage is truely something else though.

    I also agree with the previous - someone's head should roll.

    Duncan
     
  11. adavies

    adavies Active Member

    Mother Nature, it seems, can be rather cruel.
    I Agree with Craig about heads rolling. Surely the IAAF as procedural policies to follow!
    Ethnicity and Diversity is preached to us all the time and 'Hello' what's happening here.

    Give 'her' the benefit of doubt, if she didn't know.

    Kiwi AD
     
  12. david3679

    david3679 Active Member

    The other concern in this case is she was not a new star has been competing under IAAF events for years as a junior star with little or no question asked.
    It seems that all of a sudden the question was raised and hear the issue of suicide watch being placed on semenya

    poor girl

    Dave
     
  13. Unfortunately, this is not just about what is best for Caster Semenya, her future in sports or her mental health. This goes back to a decision in sports made over a century ago to separate men's and women's sport competition, rather than combining them into a co-ed competition, so that female athletes could compete against each other since they were perceived to be weaker and slower than their male counterparts. These female athletes, who work just as hard, if not harder, at their sports than do male athletes, I feel, deserve to compete against other women who have normal female hormone levels since it is basically a hormonal difference in the growing individual over time that gives the male athlete the potential to be stronger and faster than their female counterpart.

    Like I said before, this is a huge ethical issue for all sports and one that, unfortunately, has probably ruined the career and damaged the mental health of a promising teenage athlete.
     
  14. Brandon Maggen

    Brandon Maggen Active Member

    Hi all

    I couldn't agree with Kevin more! And Craig! And the rest of the contributors.
    Here in South Africa there is generally, based on the letters to the newspapers and calls to talk radio etc, a consensus that Caster's career is over, whether or not there is corrective surgery. The general feeling is, notwithstanding of course that she is yet to speak, that she would not really want to compete on the world stage again, after suffering this humiliation.

    There is huge public outcry over the way this was handled by IAAF and then how it broke in the Australian media and then over our own ASA chief who over the weekend admitted he lied, saying he knew all along and authorised the testing! In typical SA style, he refuses to step down. Good news is he may be fired by weekend. Check out,

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/article122958.ece

    Even if his head deservedly rolls as well as some IAAF heads, its still not enough. Young Caster is rightfully in 'hiding' from the media and perhaps herself. How could she have had the time even to come to terms with her achievment, let alone deal with suddenly being told, nay reading about, she in fact is not a she, nor a he?

    Our collective heart breaks for her and our summed anger rages for the ethical breech of every known code of conduct and lack of morality and better judgment.

    Brandon Maggen
     
  15. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Hi Brandon

    Now that it is clear that the Head of ASA knew all along, have the ANC apologised for bringing the race (should read 'colour') issue into the matter?

    Bill Liggins
     
  16. Brandon Maggen

    Brandon Maggen Active Member

    Hi Bill

    I am sad to say that not only have they not apologised, they in fact will never.
    This is how it goes.

    Caster will forever carry the scars of the manner this was dealt with more than the gender issues which have been thrust upon her, in my opinion.

    Sad for Caster

    Brandon
     
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