South African Sports Head Apologizes for Concealing Semenya’s Gender

200px-20090819_Caster_SemenyaDuring 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.

For the full story, click here

9 thoughts on “South African Sports Head Apologizes for Concealing Semenya’s Gender”

  1. Just listen to the doctor and stick to the Biology. You look male when the testes descend during development. If they don’t descend, they are still functional, and you are still a male. You are NOT a hermaphrodite. You are an XY normal male with undescended testicals, Mr. Semenya.

    Just because you were raised female, doesn’t qualify you to join girls sports.

  2. You are jumping the gun professor. First, the process of deciding whether Semenya is qualified to compete in women’s events has not yet been made. FYI, from the reports I’ve seen, her testosterone level is only 3 times the average female, and still within (but at the upper end) of the “normal” female range. Conversely, the average male has 10 times the testosterone level as the average female, and she is well short of that. If she is not disqualified from womens’ events, then clearly no sanctions are warranted for her or her coaches. Second, I don’t agree with your presumption that she knew, or your apparent conclusion that if she did know she had a duty to disclose. Even if she knew something, the duty to interpret that knowledge, understand how it related to the rules, and disclose may well fall on her coaches, who represented her in these matters, not on her.

  3. I may have missed it but I don’t see in the article linked or the Professor’s entry where Semenya was made aware of the findings, her knowlege is “presumed”. There’s no statement that she was actually made aware. It is as likely that she was a dupe in the matter. Without a finding that she had ‘guilty knowledge’, banning her seems harsh. Let her run with men.

  4. From that great book the “Urban Dictionary:

    A person, such as myself, who has both male and female genitals and secondary sex characteristics.
    Quiet! I’m f@#$%# myself. Need a condom…Don’t want to get myself pregnant.”

  5. For women competitors worldwide, some who prepare their entire lives for the opportunity and privilege to run in one major event, I must agree with this statement from Prof Turley:

    “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.”

  6. You know, this is where I think personal judgment interferes with whats right. I don’t know whats right, in a situation such as this. Now, if the person was a different sex from birth and had a sex change in order to compete, I might have a different opinion. But here, we have an individual that was genetically mutated from birth. Is it the persons fault? What do you do? Everyone is going to cry foul. I say too bad, here’s a towel cry me a river.

    I could not compete with them at any level. Why they are superior athletes. I do not have specialized training in knowing what the rules are either, again, I am at a distinct disadvantage.

    I know I have friends that are Gay, yes, Gay as queer as they come. I have friends that are lesbians, yes, they are female to the best of my knowledge and that I have been able to figure out. I also have not gone into detail with them. Why, because I don’t want to get my butt kicked. And I know two people going through a sex change. Now if I have any Bi-friends I am unaware as I do not participate. They are still people. However, if they had a sex change and then competed in the Olympics or specialized contests, then I might have a different opinion.

    Lastly, I have 3 brothers and sister 1 of each. You figure that one out. Roflmao

Comments are closed.