S. African Track Star Told to Take Gender Test

Gender confusion has followed Semenya's meteoric success
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2009 1:35 PM CDT
FILE -- In this Monday Aug. 17, 2009 file photo South Africa's Caster Semenya competes in a Women's 800m semifinal at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin. The IAAF has asked the South African...   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File)
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(Newser) – The International Association of Athletics Federations has asked South African track star Caster Semenya to undergo gender testing, the BBC reports. The 18-year-old Semenya won the 800-meter final today at the World Championships in Berlin, just weeks after becoming African junior champion by smashing the South African record.

But her rise to fame has been shadowed by questions about her gender. “In the case of this athlete, following her breakthrough in the African junior championships, the rumors, the gossip was starting to build up," said Nick Davies, an IAAF rep. "The gender verification test is an extremely complex procedure,” Davies continued, adding that “the situation today is that we do not have any conclusive evidence that she should not be allowed to run."