Semenya, Runner Whose Gender was Questioned, Will Keep Medal, Says South Africa


Caster Semenya, the 800-meter World Championships gold medalist whose gender was questioned by authorities, will not be stripped of her medal and prize money.

It had been reported that initial test findings by the International Association of Athletics Federations, which oversees the competition, suggested that Semenya had both male and female biological characteristics. Today the sports ministry of Semenya’s native South Africa, Sports and Recreation South Africa, announced that they, Semenya’s lawyers, and the IAAF “reached total agreement” that Semenya’s test results would not be revealed, and her victory would be allowed to stand…

“The implications of the scientific findings on Caster’s health and life going forward will be analysed by Caster and she will make her own decision on her future,” says the rambling SRSA statement. “Whatever she decides, ours is to respect her decision.” They also said they demanded an apology from the IAAF, which they did not quite get.

The ministry further thanked law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf, which “stepped forward pro bono when the need to protect the rights and dignity of our golden girl arose.” Semenya is well-loved and ferociously protected by South Africans.

The IAAF said that it had indeed talked to South Africa, but “no further comment will be made on this subject until further notice.”