About three weeks ago, the international federation asked South African track and field authorities to conduct the [gender] verification test. Semenya had burst onto the scene by posting a world-leading time of 1:56.72 at the African junior championships in Maruitius.
Her dramatic improvement in times, muscular build and deep voice sparked speculation about her gender. Ideally, any dispute surrounding an athlete is dealt with before a major competition. But Semenya’s stunning rise from unknown teenage runner to the favorite in the 800 happened almost overnight. That meant the gender test—which takes several weeks—could not be completed in time.
Before the race, IAAF spokesman Nick Davies stressed this is a “medical issue, not an issue of cheating.” He said the “extremely complex” testing has begun. The process requires a physical medical evaluation and includes reports from a gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist, internal medicine specialist and gender expert.
First off, I feel bad for Caster Semenya if the IAAF turns out to be incorrect, because if so, she’s definitely the victim in this. The last thing anybody wants challenged about them is their gender. That’s not a good look at all.
If she turns out to be a man, this would be a swindle of epic proportions. A guy pretending to be a woman so he could dominate races? That’s straight out of a movie, only much, much funnier. Juwanna Mann was an awful movie, real talk.
This may have some hairy legs to it, though. Her body build and deep voice are obviously not helping her case. Even some of her peers have their doubts, but getting smoked by almost 3 seconds in a race may explain their skepticism. Still, something seems slightly off about her. I’m not passing judgement on her gender, but I could see why people are scratching their heads.
Of course, though, it could turn out that she is indeed a female. Can you say awkward?
Expect something along those lines from the IAAF if they’re wrong.