Gender victim supports Semenya

As THE speculation surrounding the gender of new 800m World champion Caster Semenya persists, someone who has been similarly subjected to scrutiny has spoken out in support of the athlete.

As THE speculation surrounding the gender of new 800m World champion Caster Semenya persists, someone who has been similarly subjected to scrutiny has spoken out in support of the athlete.

Banyana Banyana striker Noko Matlou yesterday recounted her own brush with this tendency to brand top women athletes as men.

Minutes before kickoff of an international match in 2007, she was made to strip to prove she was female.

"We were about to play Ghana in Pretoria in an Olympics qualifying match when they asked if I was a woman.

"I had no problem undressing and showing them what they wanted to see," Matlou said.

"Personally, I never let it affect me. I have been reading about what Caster is going through and I know first-hand how it feels. She knows who she is, and while it is difficult, she needs to ignore the ignorance and go on with her life," she said.

Since that day Matlou has grown immensely and is on the verge of moving overseas to further her footballing career, in addition to many honours that have been heaped on her in three years.

Meanwhile, a group of doctors, including an endocrinologist, a gynaecologist, an internal medicine expert, an expert on gender and a psychologist have started the gender test but the results might not be known for days, if not weeks.

X