Sat Oct 22 09:06:46 SAST 2016

Pride aside, IAAF was only doing its duty

By unknown | Aug 28, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

IN REFERENCE to your editorial and the letters of Herman Lategan and Malose Langa about Caster Semenya (Sowetan, August 25).

Is the real issue not that most males are physically stronger than most females because of their different chromosomes?

This reality has nothing to do with gender prejudices and stereotypes or racism but has everything to do with athletes' ability to perform. If an athlete who has a predominantly "male chromosome composition" competes against females, the person would, according to universally accepted consensus, enjoy an "unfair advantage".

Unfortunately this has and is exploited in competitive sports: Females are "fed" boosters to stimulate muscles and stamina. This practice has necessitated strict tests to establish female "chromosomal composition" - especially when they perform extraordinarily well and or exhibit "male" characteristics.

During the last 10 years a number of females have been disqualified.

However proud we are of Semenya and her achievements, there can be no objection in principle to the IAAF doing the tests. It is part of their mandate and duties. They are not going to waive their rules because she is black, comes from a disadvantaged background, "racists" have demanded the tests or because we love her.

Rather let them get on with it and let Caster carry on with her life and career. Unless the tests are concluded, her international career is over.

What is very worrying is why the managers of Athletics South Africa did not make sure that all athletes had all the tests done before competitions.

DC Coetsee, Stompneusbaai


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