anger over oz allegations

ATHLETICS officials and family members have reacted with anger at recent reports suggesting that middle distance sensation Caster Semenya is a hermaphrodite - a person with both female and male sexual characteristics.

ATHLETICS officials and family members have reacted with anger at recent reports suggesting that middle distance sensation Caster Semenya is a hermaphrodite - a person with both female and male sexual characteristics.

The Sydney, Australia-based Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that the IAAF was expected to disqualify Semenya from future events after gender tests revealed that she had male and female sexual organs.

The newspaper said the results of tests would reveal that she has internal testes.

The paper also reported that Semenya would be stripped of her 800m world championship and medal.

Athletics South Africa president Leonard Chuene said last night: "I'm not shocked by reports that Caster is a hermaphrodite because I knew from the onset that such allegations would be levelled at this youngster.

"The IAAF has distanced itself from such claims and will only issue an official statement in Monaco in November. I have been communicating with the IAAF about the Caster debacle and they told me not to take what will be said about this youngster seriously until they issue an official statement in this regard.

"So, we are unfazed about what has been written and said about Caster. These allegations were not started by the international media. We all know that these allegations started here at home. I can assure you that Caster is a woman as far as we are concerned."

Wilfred Daniels, the high performance co-ordinator responsible for ASA's national team who resigned after expressing his disgust with the manner in which the national body handled the Semenya issue, refused to comment until after the IAAF issued an official statement on November 20.

IAAF spokesperson Nick Davies said the results would only be made public once experts had studied them and Semenya herself had been contacted.

Davies said: "We have the final results from the specialist tests carried out in Germany.

"These now need to be interpreted by a panel of experts drawn from the IAAF Medical Commission and some outside specialists as well.

"It is likely that we will be in a position to then discuss the results, in private, with Semenya, and decide on a course of action and any public announcement.

"Nothing will therefore be announced or confirmed until we are in a position to have the expert evaluation of the results, and discuss them with the athlete. We cannot give an exact timing but probably within the next couple of weeks."

Semenya will be trying to put what has been written about her behind her when she competes in a 4km race at the SA cross-country championships in Pretoria tomorrow.

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