Adam Wakefield

Semenya case exposes IAAF’s hypocrisy

Since winning the women’s 800m final at the Athletics World Championships, Caster Semenya has been asked to or has (the IAAF doesn’t seem to have a clue) taken a gender test.

Does something smell not quite kosher?

Being only 18, Semenya has a bright future ahead of her if the IAAF’s bungling of the situation doesn’t take a turn for the worst.

It is appalling that the IAAF let it be known before the final that Semenya was to undergo a gender test. Would they leak a possible positive Usain Bolt test before he was set to run the 200m final?

No, because rules stipulate that the results of doping tests can only be made public once the IAAF and Wada are 100% sure either the A or B sample has tested positive. In Semenya’s case, she wasn’t afforded the luxury and the right of privacy.

The question I want to ask is: if Semenya was from a European or other “First World” state, would the same questions be asked about her gender? (Which might also be the wrong word since it is her sex that is being questioned and not her gender, which is influenced by socialisation.)

Once again, when an athlete from outside the established athletics world excels and surprises the rest of the field, questions are asked especially when the competitor comes from an African country.

What a lot of the coverage being given to Semenya implies is that either Athletics South Africa (ASA) made a mistake, they know something we don’t or Semenya is cheating of her own accord. The word cheat is being thrown around a lot and an allegation of that nature sticks to an athlete‚Äôs reputation like radiation to a reactor.

The IAAF, and many sections of the world media, have been shown up to apply double standards to nations that don’t quite excel all the time. This institutional racism (it can certainly be interpreted as such) is incredibly disappointing from the IAAF’s standpoint. Do they think the ASA are so incompetent that they can’t tell the difference between a boy and girl? What about the many eastern European women with masculine builds that haven’t even received a look-up?

Maybe they privately do, since they would never say so publicly, which would be patronising.

If Semenya is proven to be a man, which I don’t believe will happen (especially with her family saying she is a girl) then the IAAF will be justified in their decision if not the pathetic way they went about the process. To put an 18-year-old under such suspicion and pressure before the biggest race of her life is disgusting.

The IAAF may be the world athletics federation, but the way they went about this process was bush league and no better then a village committee.

I hope Semenya is proven “innocent” (since she is apparently being implicitly accused of something) and sticks it to the IAAF once more. She has done it once on the track and I hope she does it again.