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Whistleblower Exposes 'Dirty Secret' of Athletics

A third of winners had dodgy blood test results

(Newser) - A whistleblower has given the Sunday Times what the newspaper calls damning evidence of the "dirtiest secret" in sports: an astonishing amount of doping at the highest level of athletics (that's track and field). The leaker provided the Times and German broadcaster ARD with around 12,000 blood... More »

School Tells Autistic Boy: Take Off That Varsity Letter

Michael Kelley incident sparks debate on varsity jackets

(Newser) - Did Michael Kelley, a boy with Down Syndrome and autism, have his letter jacket taken off him at school? The accusation has triggered squabbling, an online petition, and debate about how to recognize special-needs children in high-school athletics in Wichita, Kansas, KSN reports. Michael's mom, Jolinda, first said a... More »

Stripping French Runner Loses Gold Medal

Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad punished for showboating

(Newser) - Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad has shown the world how you can be top of your game and still be a loser: As he approached the finish line in the 3,000m steeplechase at the European championships in Zurich, the French runner stripped off his vest, jammed it in his mouth, and waved... More »

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again

Workouts shouldn't destroy you, says fitness blog

(Newser) - A new trend emerging among recreational athletes is extreme exercise, but this habit of overtraining is counterproductive to getting fit and healthy, writes Gina Kolata for the New York Times' Well blog . The body needs to rest—between sets, between days of exercise, etc.—a sentiment that many well-meaning... More »

Special Skier's Underwear Banned at World Cup

It apparently gives athletes an unfair advantage

(Newser) - The newest suspicions of cheating in sports come not from the use of performance enhancing drugs but from the wearing of special underwear. Professional skiers who will compete in the upcoming World Cup in Switzerland were bluntly told by officials they cannot don a "full-bodied, plastic-neoprene hybrid sheath" worn... More »

Homophobia Pervades Penn State Scandal

What if Sandusky had been raping little girls?

(Newser) - "What if it had been a 10-year-old girl in the Penn State locker room that Friday night in 2002?" Writing in the New York Times , Daniel Mendelsohn suggests that football coach Mike McQueary never would have cut and run if Jerry Sandusky had been raping a little girl. In... More »

Jury Still Out on Whether Energy Drinks Help Athletes

Either way, don't mistake them for sports drinks

(Newser) - Energy drinks have certainly been effective at marketing themselves to athletes, especially young ones—a recent survey showed that 32% of high-school athletes drink them—but do they actually improve performance? They jury’s out, but it doesn’t look good, experts tell the New York Times . “There’s... More »

Caster Semenya Wins in Return to Track

South African teen missed 11 months while undergoing gender testing

(Newser) - Caster Semenya won the 800m at a minor meet tonight in Finland, her first competition since the IAAF cleared the South African teen to compete as a woman . Looking happy and relaxed, she comfortably dealt with a larger-than-usual crowd and massive media contingent, the Guardian reports . "I felt more... More »

Semenya Not Picked for South Africa Team

Despite IAAF permission, won't race in Kenya on July 28

(Newser) - Though the IAAF cleared her for competition last Tuesday, Caster Semenya's year-long absence from racing still isn't over: The women's 800m world champion has been left out of South Africa's team for the African Championships on July 28 in Kenya, after the country's athletic group determined she wasn't in good... More »

The Meaning of Caster Semenya

Gender a more fluid concept than sports are prepared to handle

(Newser) - South Africa has rallied around Caster Semenya, but the IAAF still has no idea what to do with her—or the question of gender as a whole. Semenya’s case is particularly personal for South Africans. The country has an unusually high number of intersexed individuals, and apartheid left behind... More »

Semenya Will Keep Medals; Gender Test Confidential

Board rules in favor of South African runner

(Newser) - South African runner Caster Semenya will keep her 800-meter gold medal from the world championships, and she'll keep the results of her gender tests to herself, the South African sports ministry said today. The ministry also said that the 18-year-old Semenya will be allowed to keep her prize money. "... More »

Strip Club's Ad Pokes Fun at Hermaphrodite Runner

'No need for gender testing!' billboard draws complaints

(Newser) - A strip club’s seemingly obvious reference to the South African runner revealed to be a hermaphrodite is, predictably, drawing complaints—though the club’s owner says his billboard proclaiming “No need for gender testing!” underneath a busty model isn’t a stab at Caster Semenya. Lolly Jackson... More »

South Africa: Ax Lying Semenya Official

His coverup hurt runner, says sports minister

(Newser) - South African government officials are calling for the firing of an athletic director who admitted lying about gender tests before Caster Semenya entered her controversial World Championship race last month. "His lies were to Ms. Semenya's detriment," said a statement from the nation's sports minister, reports the BBC.... More »

Semenya Is a Hermaphrodite: Aussie Tab

South African track sensation has no uterus or ovaries: source

(Newser) - South African track star Caster Semenya is a hermaphrodite, the Daily Telegraph of Australia reports. The 18-year-old has no ovaries or uterus, according to the tabloid, which cites "a source closely involved" in tests ordered by the international track and field governing body after Semenya won the gold medal... More »

Experts Called In to Review Semenya's Gender Tests

South African track champ may be suffering chromosomal disorder

(Newser) - The International Association of Athletics Federations' gender testing on Caster Semenya is complete, and enough doubt remains that she is truly female that experts have been called in to examine the results, the Daily Telegraph reports. The review will determine whether the South African runner suffers from a chromosomal disorder... More »

Critics Boo as Schools Nix Athletic Cheerleading

UConn accused of sexism for cutting gymnastic routines

(Newser) - Ditch all those nasty gymnastics routines, girls, and look cute again! That's what some observers heard when the University of Connecticut ended gymnastic and tumbling skills in its cheerleaders' routines last week, Sarah Ball writes in Newsweek. "Even if school officials weren't solely motivated by wanting to see less... More »

Huge Welcome Home for 'First Lady' Semenya

(Newser) - World champion sprinter Caster Semenya received a heroine's welcome today in Johannesburg, where thousands of South Africans waved signs reading "Our first lady of sport" and "100% female woman." The 18-year-old runner, caught up in suspicions about her gender, had a huge smile as spectators sang and... More »

Women, Time to Compete Against the Men

Eliminating divisions will solve gender identity issues in sports

(Newser) - Female athletes will always be inherently inferior to their male counterparts unless they can directly prove their mettle against them, Dominic Lawson writes in a provocative column for the Times of London. His solution: “Let there be no male or female athletics championships. Instead, let men and women—and... More »

Is She a Man? Is Phelps a Fish?

(Newser) - It's wrong to be subjecting South African sprinter Caster Semenya to "a public slaying," writes Antonia Senior, who says that debating her gender has no more credibility than asking if "Michael Phelps is really a fish." For the Times of London columnist, sports are now "... More »

Night Owls Outmuscle Early Birds: Study

(Newser) - Night owls may have a tough time conforming to normal work schedules, but they do have one advantage in athletic ability that early birds can’t match, CNN reports. A new study tested leg strength at various times during the day and found that morning people were consistent while late... More »

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