Tests on Golden Girl are 'invalid'

THE gender verification tests conducted on 800m world champion Caster Semenya are invalid because they were done without the athlete's knowledge, says Athletics South Africa president Leornard Chuene.

THE gender verification tests conducted on 800m world champion Caster Semenya are invalid because they were done without the athlete's knowledge, says Athletics South Africa president Leornard Chuene.

Chuene admitted yesterday being advised to withdraw the athlete two days before the final race following doubts about her gender, but refused.

"On what basis was I supposed to withdraw her? By the way, Dr Harold Adams is an IAAF medical commission member and not part of the ASA medical team, so there was no basis for me to do that.

"I simply refused to withdraw her based on rumours. We were not given anything in black and white. The IAAF constitution also did not make a provision for that to happen.

"At that stage, we did not even know about the alleged gender tests that we read about in the media that have been conducted on Mokgadi," he said.

Following a month of bitter accusations and counter accusations between ASA and IAAF about the issue, Semenya's career can technically continue. However, her withdrawal from the cross-country championships that took place on Saturday in Tshwane makes her future in athletics questionable.

Chuene was speaking after an ASA council meeting that took place over the weekend, in which, the council recommended that he (Chuene) withdraw his resignation as a member of IAAF, from which he resigned in a huff when the debacle broke last month following Semenya's performances.

The council in effect accused the world governing body of not fulfilling its duty as custodian of athletics in the world since they failed to follow their constitution and procedures in dealing with the matter.

The ASA council also took issue with IAAF's "failure" to observe the confidentiality required to handle the Semenya issue with sensitivity and infringed upon the human rights of the athlete.

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