During the controversy over the gender of Caster Semenya, one person was absolutely clear in denying rumors that Semenya was a man or hermaphrodite: the president of Athletics South Africa Leonard Chuene. Chuene now admits that he lied to the international sporting officials and the public. He knew all along about tests that indicated that Semenya was a hermaphrodite. Where is Joe Wilson when you need him
Putting aside the aside personal dishonesty and lack of moral compass, Chuene knowingly broke the rules to enter Semenya in the World Athletics Championships last month, where she captured the gold medal. Of course, Semenya is equally to blame.
Chuene apologized but explained “[i]f we did not let her run, we would be confirming that she is not normal.” Well, yes, and that would have been the truth as opposed to what Chuene and his colleagues were saying. [Update: South African government is now calling for Chuene’s resignation, here].
Also under criticism is the team doctor Harold Adams and ASA General Manager Molatelo Malehopo. Before the Berlin games, Adams wrote them an email stating “[a]fter thinking about the current confidential matter I would suggest that we make the following decisions. 1. We get a (gynecological) opinion and take it to Berlin. 2. We do nothing and I will handle these issues if they come up in Berlin. Please think and get back to me ASAP.”
Not only did these officials lie, but they allowed South Africans to protest in the streets in condemning the effort to test Semenya. Semenya herself allowed these protests to occur despite her presumed knowledge of the pre-race test.
It seems to me that Chuene, Malehopo, Adams and others should be barred from any domestic or international sporting positions for life. They are not the only names on that list, but they should be at the top — following Semenya’s name.
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