Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Caster not interested in boyfriends

GUARDIAN.CO.UK: The IAAF says it was obliged to investigate after Semenya made improvements of 25 seconds at 1500m and eight seconds at 800m – the sort of dramatic breakthroughs that usually arouse suspicion of drug use. It is not the first time that the gender of female competitors has been challenged. The IAAF denies charges of racism, arguing that its president is a black man.

Her friend Boitumelo Noshion said: "Sometimes in the class she's asked about boyfriends but she's not interested. But she's mentioned that she wants to have children one day."

SHOOT: This isn't about whether she is male or female, or if racism is involved.
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

The governing body of world athletics confirmed that it has ordered Semenya to undergo a "gender verification test" to prove she did not have an unfair biological advantage. British bookmakers offered prices on whether she will prove to be a man, woman or hermaphrodite.

But although the debate is ostensibly about sex, many in South Africa believe it has a racial dimension. Political leaders have accused Western "imperialists" of a public lynching, comparing her case to that of Saartjie Baartman, an 18th-century Khosian woman who paraded naked in Europe for colonialists to prod her genitals with their umbrellas.

Semenya has many male friends too. Ezekiel Laka, 20, who captains the football team in which she was the sole female player, said: "Many people say she's a boy but in fact she's a girl. I have proof. When we played football she went somewhere far away from the boys so she could change in private. She tells people, 'I'm a girl'."

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