operation: gender

Caster Semenya Will Keep Her Gold Medal. And Her Privacy!


Even if South African track star Caster Semenya does have both boy and girl parts, she’s still a gold medal winner: The International Association of Athletics Federations ruled she can keep the gold medal she won in August in Berlin. But the bigger news? The results of the investigation into Semenya’s gender (!) will be kept private.

The South African Ministry of Sport and Recreation says in a statement: “We have agreed with the IAAF that whatever scientific tests were conducted legally within the IAAF regulations will be treated as a confidential matter between patient and doctor. As such there will be no public announcement of what the panel of scientists has found. We urge all South Africans and other people to respect this professional ethical and moral way of doing things.”

That means the planned release of the test results in February won’t happen.

This would be great news, had preliminary results of that investigation not leaked back in October, which claimed Semenya has no ovaries, internal testes, or womb, and has ultra-high levels of testosterone.

Not that the blame game is over:

The South African ministry added they had been unhappy with way the testing had been handled: “We have asked the IAAF to apologize at the way the whole Caster Semenya saga was dealt with.

“Their response is: ‘It is deeply regrettable that information of a confidential nature entered the public domain.’ The IAAF is adamant that the public discourse did not originate with them.

“We also cannot prove the contrary. It is our considered view that this chapter of blame apportioning must now be closed. The sport bodies must be allowed to deal with the rest of the investigations in terms of their own regulations,” the statement added.

But for Semenya, this is the closest thing she’ll get to receiving closure on this whole debate, at least in the public eye.