That's exactly what the IAAF is saying to Caster Semanya, the eighteen year old winner of the 2009 800m World Championships! The Guardian reports, "The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) yesterday revealed that Semenya has been the subject of a gender verification process both in her native South Africa, and since she arrived in Berlin. The official investigation could take weeks to draw conclusions with an endocrinologist, a gynaecologist and a psychologist all involved." This dark shadow of doubt about the sex of Caster has now come to the forefront since she claimed victory in the women's 800m World Championships well ahead of the other competitors with a Personal Best of 1 minute 55.45 seconds. But why has a major sporting association raised this sensitive and controversial issue?
I only learned about this sensational and controversial athlete on Wednesday night, and had to check this out for myself. At first I thought hey were questioning her gender because she was somewhat muscular, but I was totally amazed... [rephrase] shocked by her photos! No disrespect to this athlete, but I could definitely see why her gender was in question here. I sat there going through several pictures for female traits and I am still looking! Her entire built appears to be male, broad shoulders, tapered stature, no hips, masculine chiseled face and very well defined! The only thing that appears to be missing is the "male package" in the pubic area! I must admit, after going through several photos, I too have raised questions about the sex of Caster Semanya. I have even gone as far as analyzing her name... Cast (h)er, Se(e) men ya(h)!
But putting the crude jokes aside, it must be a very emotional and stressful period for this athlete, in a moment when she and her country should be celebrating a great victory and a milestone in her life and career. Not only is her gender being questioned by curious onlookers, but her gender is being questioned very publicly on the international scene with hints of the possibility of her being stripped of her medal and title. It is not the first time as the Guardian reports, "Semenya's coach, Michael Seme, says he is well used to the commotion. He recalls stopping to use the facilities at a petrol station in Cape Town recently and as Semenya tried to enter the women's toilets, she was stopped by the petrol attendants. "Caster just laughed and asked if they would like her to take off her pants to show them she was a woman,"". Hopefully she can display the same lightheartedness where this much larger issue is concerned. I wish Caster all the best and hope, this is just a case of mistaken identity, that she is actually a "born woman" and that she can celebrate her victory and continue to make strides as an athlete.