South African Track Champ is a Hermaphrodite: Report


SYDNEY — World 800-meter champion Caster Semenya of South Africa has male and female sexual organs, the Sydney Morning Herald said on Friday, posing an ethical and political quandary for athletics' ruling body.

The Herald said extensive physical examinations of 18-year-old Semenya ordered by the IAAF have shown she is technically a hermaphrodite.

Medical reports indicate she has no ovaries, but rather has internal male testes, which are producing large amounts of testosterone.

The newspaper said the IAAF was trying to contact Semenya to inform her of the results. After dominating her race at the world titles in

Berlin last month, Semenya was given blood and chromosome tests as well as a gynecological examination.

"This is a medical issue and not a doping issue where she was deliberately cheating," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

"These tests do not suggest any suspicion of deliberate misconduct but seek to assess the possibility of a potential medical condition which would give Semenya an unfair advantage over her competitors. There is no automatic disqualification of results in a case like this."

The IAAF has said Semenya would probably keep her medal because the case was not related to a drug matter. But the Herald said an alternative possibility was to award a second gold to the runner-up, Janeth Jepkosgei from Kenya.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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