UPDATE: Tests confirm Caster Semenya is a woman, can compete

South African runner Caster Semenya awaits the official time for her race.

I am woman. Watch me race. (Photo: Wikipedia)

After an interminable barrage of gender verification tests by the International Association of Athletics Federations, South Africa’s Caster Semenya has finally been approved to resume the practice of her career of choice. It only took 11 months for the IAAF to determine whether Caster was a man or a woman, and throughout the trying ordeal, Semenya was barred from practicing her trade. An IAAF press release confirms that affirmed female Caster Semenya, 19, can “compete with immediate effect,” reports NBC Sports.

Caster Semenya will compete at the World Junior Championships

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada will be the scene for Caster Semenya’s return as she competes in the World Junior Championships on July 19. That is all that is known coming out of the long IAAF investigation, as the organization is keeping its no doubt exhaustive testing methods and findings confidential. For her part, Semenya is reportedly quite happy. Speculation as to whether she had to undergo a special medical procedure has yet to be proven, and conditions of the IAAF settlement with Caster Semenya have not been revealed.

A South African hero – what’s ambiguous about that?

After Caster Semenya’s dominant gold medal performance in the 800 meter run at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, reports of Semenya’s inconsistent gender testing results surfaced. Allegedly, tests detected that Semenya had both female and male genitalia. South Africa rallied behind its new international sensation while the IAAF dragged its feet in making a final determination as to whether she could continue to compete. In the interim, the world media had a field day with a topic that remains controversial. Yet as legal training methods and supplements continue to blur the line between man and woman, the idea of a unisex society is gradually becoming more science fact than science fiction. Caster Semenya could be seen as a harbinger of a new breed. But what is certain is that the IAAF now considers her a woman and will allow her to compete against women as is her legal right, reminds Jeffrey Kessler, an attorney representing Caster Semenya.

What do you think about Caster Semenya?

Was she treated fairly by the IAAF? Does she have an unfair advantage against other female athletes? Or should other female athletes consider using all the legal means at their disposal to get ahead in their chosen field of employment? Amateur athletics may not pay a salary, but success leads to commercial endorsements. Caster Semenya has shown enough skill on the track (and courted more than enough controversy, perhaps through no fault of her own) to make a comfortable living. We welcome your thoughts.


NBC Sports

Go to YouTube to check out this video on ambiguous gender and get more info on Semenya. Contains profanity:

The Angry Aussie

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