South African Runner, Caster Semenya May be Hermaphrodite

September 10, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Last month in Berlin, 18-year-old Caster Semenya, a relative unknown, wowed the world with her strength and speed, as she won a coveted gold medal and became the women’s world 800-meter champion. But Semenya’s muscled body and deep voice raised questions about her gender and she was ordered by the International Association of Athletics Federations to undergo gender testing.

Today, an Australian newspaper is reporting that preliminary tests show Semenya is a hermaphrodite, having both male and female organs.

Semenya was raised as a girl by her family, but tests show she has no womb or ovaries, according to the Sydney Daily Telegraph. The teen phenom also has internal testes, which produce testosterone and are responsible for Semenya’s muscle bulk, body hair and a deep voice.

Semenya underwent extensive testing, including a physical medical evaluation and exams by a gynecologist, psychologist, internal medicine specialist and gender expert. The final report will be discussed with Semenya and her family.

It’s unclear if the International Association of Athletics Federations would bar Semenya from future events in the women’s division.



One Response to “South African Runner, Caster Semenya May be Hermaphrodite”

  1. Cliq on September 11th, 2009 8:50 pm

    All athletes, male and female, should have hormones inside normal medically accepted ranges for their gender and body type

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