Semenya receiving counselling

2009-09-13 12:52

Cape Town - South African runner Caster Semenya  is receiving trauma counselling in the wake of claims that gender tests have shown she is a intersex, according to the website.

Semenya, 18, won the women's 800m at the World Championships in Berlin last month. But her masculine build raised questions about her gender and tests after the race showed her testosterone levels sharply exceeded the average for a woman.

As Semenya withdrew from a 4km cross-country race in Pretoria on Saturday, Athletics South Africa spokeswoman Phiwe Mlangeni-Tsholetsane confirmed the athlete was receiving counselling but denied a report that she is suicidal. Mlangeni-Tsholetsane said: "She has not mentioned suicide. She is an extremely strong and determined young woman. But the past few days have been extremely difficult.''

South African athletics officials met for a second day on Saturday to discuss the controversy and said they would make a statement on Sunday. International athletics officials have said their verdict will be delivered at the end of November but that the world champion is unlikely to be stripped of her Berlin medal.

On Thursday, Australian media claimed to have obtained leaked details of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) tests. The Sydney Daily Telegraph said these showed that the 800m world champion has a chromosomal abnormality that means she has no womb or ovaries but internal testes that produce the male hormone, testosterone.

Mlangeni-Tsholetsane said: "The latest claim is so huge that the issue is now bigger than we can cope with. All we can do is help Caster."

The spokesperson said Semenya has cancelled all engagements and interviews. "She is receiving trauma counselling. Every day she meets with psychologists who are trying to help her through what is happening around her. We are concerned for her wellbeing.''

The issue has prompted furious reactions from South African politicians, including President Jacob Zuma, and from the country's athletics officials who claim Semenya's privacy has been violated by the IAAF. International athletics officials have refused officially to confirm or deny the veracity of the Australian report.

  • wins - 2009-09-13 13:18

    Why is the IAAF being hailed as the bad boys. There is certain laid down criterias where as athletes can participate to ensure fairness to them. If a female athlete has the tendancy of having more male tes than the allowed norm, obvious such athlete will have an unfair advantage. Stop focusing on an individual, and start looking at the broader picture, fairness to other athletes. I f an athlete adhere to the prescribed norms, obvious there will be no hassle, but if not, respect the other participants the opportunity to participate fair and square. Stop making a political joke in this regards. If anyone wants to participate in an international sports event, please do so under the prescribed rules and laws, not that to suite any individual.

  • georgie - 2009-09-13 13:25

    Sad that this happened but thats how sports in SA are managed. Then what about all the other athletes locally and abroad who lost against her surely from a very young age competed against an unfair contest. Maybe every single girl from primary school can claim damages suffered against ASA. It is so obvious that there is something wrong. The worst is that for years it has been a problem and anybody who realised this were called racists. Sorry for Caster but the worst is a lot of girls suffered probably more because somehow or the other some black people believe they are above any law even that of nature. Then they hide behind racism and apartheid. In this proces they showed the world that they are incompetent and destroyed Caster live and many other athletes as well.

  • Lost Aussie in Africa - 2009-09-13 13:28

    This saga (& I feel sorry for Caster) was turned into a 'political football' by the likes of the ANCYL, Winnie Mandela and the ANC - not the press. The 3 single-handedly did nothing but score what they thought would be 'brownie-points' in an effort to bolster their own personal gratification and jumped on the band-wagon with all the hype and media storm that surrounded the whole saga & now they are furious ? Julius, Winnie & Zuma - Where are you now & Why are you not standing behind Caster - holding her hand high and supporting her, now that she has become the side-kick to your whole media circus ? Don't sit there and blame the Aussie press for leaking a story that had to be told - You made it a political gender - so stand up - show us your mettle and lets see you support Caster - who needs your support & not your political point scoring.

  • cutman - 2009-09-13 13:30

    Funny how all reports are from overseas based newspapers, and not from SA ?.

  • Shame - 2009-09-13 13:43

    It would have helped her more if the politicians hadn't seen through her a chance to get a bit of undeserved publicity for themselves.

  • Marx - 2009-09-13 13:47

    The family needs counseling too

  • William Fence - 2009-09-13 14:11

    Gender aside - it's the World Athletics Finals in Greece this weekend and even if Semenya wanted to go she never had enough world ranking points so couldn't. The ASA has really made a hash of her career. She should be running this weekend with her head held high - except she's hiding and "receiving counselling" Disgraceful ASA!

  • Al - 2009-09-13 14:18

    Racists! The testing machines are racist!

  • kully4lovers - 2009-09-13 14:33

    Mr President i knw dat u a the man of ur own words.pls do sumthng abt ths gals case.myslf n my husbnd we a praying 4 her

  • Recato Eberwein - 2009-09-13 14:53

    Why are ypu reporting on this? The people that should get councelling are Oom Eugene and his midgets that started this rascist slurring. This is a World Champion. Tot Jesus kom sal Semenya as 'n WereldKampioen erken word!

  • Cobus - 2009-09-13 15:04

    My deepest sympothy with the 18 year old. I cant believe that medical information regarding an individual can be splashed out for the world to see. ASA and the IAAF should have dealt with this matter mare responsibly and sensitive. I trust that all people in South Africa and more specifically the people arround her will do everything in their power to comfort her. Good luck Caster.

  • Michael - 2009-09-13 15:07

    as ASA statement - B***S DONT MAKE A WOMAN. The ASA, malema, Winni and all that made a fuss and used racist card please stand in line and apologise or get out of our faces. It is all a very sad affair and when the dust settels Caster will be standing there alone with no money or athletics future.

  • Fairgame - 2009-09-13 15:12

    Caster did absolutely nothing wrong!! No one from ASA or IAAF told her she could not compete. Her biological attributes -just like those of us who have not had silly surgery- are not of her choosing. She is a victim of the foolishness, lack of consideration and incompetence of ASA and IAAF. That fool Chuene should know all the regs. and requirements for such competitions. Instead of looking where here 'looked' he should have stopped scratching his balls the whole day and done something before the whole world also wanted to take a look. However the worst mamparas are Malema, Winnie and Stofile how dare these discredited and dubious characters try to gain political milage from this messy saga. How dare you!! Leave the poor girl alone!! The IAAF is not racist. The rules and regs apply to all colours of athletes. They might not be reasonable but they apply across all colours. Stop playing the race card. Stick your heads back up your arses and put your tongues to work doing something useful. VIVA CASTER!!

  • Timomo - 2009-09-13 15:19

    On the issue of the magazine, I'd say though it might have been a joke to some to Caster she just wanted to show the world who she is and how she understands a woman she is! So by us saying the cover was a joke we are basically saying Caster herself made a joke out of herself coz she agreed to the shoot. Lets understand where she's coming from before we judge. I would like to dedicate this song to South Africa "South Africa we love u" by Chicco and Brenda Fassie..This is a song we sang post 94 when we were proud South Africa's that had just been set free..and by South African I mean all races..Peace!

  • What has South Africa become - 2009-09-13 15:25

    Because of ASA's incompetence, Julius and his gang blaming it on racism, Stoffie wanting to start "world war 3" they have put an end to Semenya's career, they are to blame had ASA followed the protocol of IAAF, Semenya would never be in this humiliating situation, where is Julius and his gang, this news has hit the international media, instead of them stopping the finger pointing they need to sit together and reach whatever decision they need to correct this mess.....Semenya will never be able to compete internationally due to the incompetence of the people we have heading Athletics Association.....the Boks have won the Tri-nations has there been word of congratulations to these guys!!!!!!!!!! Like William Fence said in his comment above that the World Athletics was being held in Greece this weekend this would of given Semenya another chance to run internationally!!!!! They need to stop blaming the IAAF and pulling out the dirty race card and start looking at themselves for this debacle they have caused

  • whitebutnotracist - 2009-09-13 15:35

    If only South African Athletics would have kept quiet until the results were out. Instead they were in denial and now the facts are out and the truth hurts :-/ On top of that the Australian press took a few jabs at us because of our stance on the matter. The tests shows she is a hermaphrodite. How the heck can that be racist? Would the same rules not apply for someone that is white/indian?

  • beetroot - 2009-09-13 15:40

    It's a shame how greed, corruption, unacountability will run over everything, ruining young inocent lives. Who was in charge of preparing Semenya for international events, who did not care to get her medical tests in order, who did not know or did not care enough for her to see something's not OK? May God bless Caster.

  • Timomo - 2009-09-13 15:46

    Um deeply saddened and have tears running down my face. I don't even know Caster so the sadness I'm feeling makes me wonder how she and her family feel. Granted the condition is what it is but finding out this way is totally inhuman. All I can say is whoever has to answer will in due course but for now can for once South Africans Unite in Supporting this poor child. Lets understand that there is many like her and judging from her background she needs all the support. I think she needs her own space with no one wanting to know how she or her family is feeling because we know how they feel already, so can the media please give them some breathing space. All the SEMENYA'S want is for their lives to be normal again.

  • Ai, Al - 2009-09-13 15:57

    Ai, Al, the "testing machines" did not test for race, but for gender. It has been messed up very badly and my heart goes out to Caster. I feel upset and angry and it is very clear that you feel the same, but please, let's rather keep the race issue out this. It is completely irrelevant.

  • Hendrik - 2009-09-13 16:11

    I am glad Caster is in counselling. This must be very traumatic. ASA is responsible for the mess because they should have tested her 4 years ago when the first complaints was surfacing. We live in a cruel competitive world and there will always be some rivalry and jealousy. It is not about race. It is about equality in women's athletics. Would you be glad if your daughter is beaten in a race by someone with abnormal testosterone levels or with no womb or ovaries? I think not. Did the IAAF screw up? Yes. Did ASA screw up? Yes. Did Caster screw up? Don't think so! So the ASA and IAAF should come clean ASAP.

  • gary - 2009-09-13 16:24

    Caster you are in our thoughts and prays , I trust you will be strong enough to raise above this .

  • NorMel - 2009-09-13 16:34

    @Al - How can you say that the testing machines are racist? There have been many women who have had their gender tested - white ladies included. Caster is one of the first black woman to be tested. So don't say it is racist. It's sports - those are the rules. You obviously have a chip on your shoulder - that only YOU can deal with. Sort it out mate. Gender testing has NOTHING to do with race, but all about unfair advantages. If a woman has too much testosterone, or has masculine qualities, or even facial hair - they HAVE to be tested (black, white, indian) - those are the rules. Athletes know these rules. You are clearly an uneducated fool making an uneducated decision. Weigh the pros and cons along with the rules before you make your idiotic statements about race. The race card is over-used now - be careful and go and read the story about the boy who cried wolf too many times....

  • sick and tired - 2009-09-13 17:59

    Blacks are far superior in athletics than whites, anyway, so how anyone could ever have made this into a race issue is a complete mystery. Caster's gender has clerly been suspect from a young age and she has always suffered under suspicion becauase of this. Any competent athletics body would immediately have acted on this. What kind of University has Pretoria become that they also did not act on this, as she runs for them as well? Caster is the innocent victim of a whole gamut of idiots and incompetents.

  • MABRRR - 2009-09-13 18:05

    For Caster to find out about his disorder through the media is something I can never imagine.All this testing would never have occured if she had'nt won which goes to show that racism has played a part in everything.This does'nt only affect Caster it also affects her mother who even when in pain has to stay stromg for her daughters sake.Caster wanted to make her country proud but now it has turned her life upside down.AFRICA LOVES YOU GIRL don't ever let yourself think otherwise......

  • Philip heron - 2009-09-13 18:06

    Caster Semenya is a child of God, and she is going to be standing alone after all this horrid dust has settled. How dare all those political mamparas make her life so miserable. What do they care, except to keep pulling the race card. How long will all this hatred last? This talented girl was born this way. All she wanted to do was to achieve, and make us all proud of her..The ASA should hang their heads in shame for exploiting her. They just don't get the picture, and all this in the name of "culture". All people are born equal in the eyes of God. Why do people keep trying to uproot and spoil his work. Get a life all you people, and love and respect each other. It's the only way for a happy and accepting South Aftrica......

  • Nikki - 2009-09-13 18:37

    Al & Recato, go play with your lego! You're obviously to immature to be on the internet and reading the news! You don't understand the word rascist anyway! Go play!

  • Aggy - 2009-09-13 18:41

    Forget everything else, the race whatever, let us think of this girl who was following her dreams and doing something to get out of her situation now her whole life is out there for everyone to talk about and snicker. She is just starting out her life and she has to deal with a 'reality' different to what she has always known. Instead of everyone standing together and supporting this poor child everyone is being mean. I just pray that she is a stronger person than me because most of us would never be able to cope.

  • Peter - 2009-09-13 19:03

    This is exactly what happens when you have AA and BEE forced on everything. ASA and its i***s knew the truth all along, but by playing the race card they thought they could send Caster through to the World Championships and get away with it. Well, this kind of corruption may work in SA but not the rest of the world and now SA pays the price for it. I wonder how the runner up feels, being denied her rightful gold medal by someone that is only a women in very limited respects. Caster should run with the men instead.

  • Jeremy - 2009-09-13 20:12 they have to scrap all the records Semenya broke in SA. How can we trust ASA that their testing is correct if they slipped this one? What about scattered dreams because some girl came 4th because of Semenya in the past? Hope the ASA will look deeply into this....and not start the 3rd world war

  • Central Gauteng - 2009-09-13 20:15

    As per yesterday's correspondence you are benefiting from this. I think you should use the money that you are receiving for damaging Caster for athletics development otherwise you will feel the wrath of God.

  • boitumelo - 2009-09-13 20:55

    Shame!! i feel so sorry for the poor Caster, I blame the South African Athletics and of cause his coach, they should have made sure that all these test before they put thispoor child in shame of the world, at least this would have ended in S.A, and what are the other countries saying aout us.

  • boitumelo - 2009-09-13 20:57

    Shame!! i feel so sorry for the poor Caster, I blame the South African Athletics and of cause his coach, they should have made sure that all these test before they put thispoor child in shame of the world, at least this would have ended in S.A, and what are the other countries saying aout us.

  • Urs - 2009-09-13 21:16

    Caster should receive compensation from the Australian media for emotional damage. How dare they break such a sensitive story before the girl herself has had the results and been counselled? As she said herself, God made her the way she is and she is proud of herself. So should we all be. Very best luck to the girl. If she can get through the emotional turmoil that has been handed to her recently, she can go on to do great things and it doesn't have to be in athletics. She is clearly a remarkable young woman. None of this fiasco was of her making but she has had to deal with it.

  • Be Reasonable - 2009-09-13 21:53

    Caster is 18. With no female reproductive organs and high levels of testoterone, it stands to reason that she would never had had a period, nor developed breasts. If a male had got to that age, his balls had not dropped nor his voice broken (the traditional signs of male manhood) then surely he would have wanted to know why. Caster must have had the same questions. Its just so sad that it turns into a racial debate yet again. Even in very poor socities it is known that certain changes can be expected when a female reaches sexual maturity. That is usually early teens. Are we to belive that Caster and her family are so disadvantaged that they had no idea that something was wrong? Its tragic that it has hit the world spotlight but I think in this day and age the level of naivety implied is hard to accept

  • Wesbo - 2009-09-13 21:55

    I don't feel the whole story has been told - nowadays any 10 to 12 year old knows about the expected development of their bodies as they go through puberty - surely it must have been a huge issue that all these years she has not ovulated or developed seconday sexual characteristics of a woman (breasts etc.). She and her parents should have been searching for answers from the medical world many years ago. I fail to understand how it's possible that we are expected to believe that she and her parents and friends and family are all so simple and ignorant that it never crossed their minds! Is it even conceivable that everyone was in total denial? Equally it's time the world learned that these people are part of the normal order of things and instead of making such a big deal of it, find a way to accomodate all of nature's creations in a way that wil lend dignity to them and ourselves.

  • Thabiso Marabe - 2009-09-13 21:59

    As far as I am concerned I do not think that Caster was running for a first time in that 800m race she won. Therefore I don't understand why all these tests are being done now, why? It is clear that black people are still not expected to achieve good things like what Caster has achieved. She should be left alone otherwise all these people that are busy continuing with this issue will be responsible for costing Caster her wonderful career that God gave her. She devserves what she won!

  • Denise Moore - 2009-09-14 03:29

    Semenya might have a chromosomal abnormality but that was NOT reported in the Sidney Daily Telegraph. That's an inaccurancy introducted by the Guardian.

  • antika - 2009-09-14 06:52

    Where are the mamparas Malema, Winnie and Stofile now. I***s !! Do not try your rotten South African ethics on a civilized world like you did Chuene. You did not do your job and yes maybe you should have stopped scratching your balls and should have acted before the athletes left for Berlin. Go and rectify your incompetence. And no, I'm not sorry for Caster. She/He also knew and must have search for answers.The answers possibly came from Stofile and Chuene those third world circus clowns.

  • Comic - 2009-09-14 07:08

    Caster the friendly bloke..

  • Craig - 2009-09-14 07:57

    I really feel so sorry for Caster! the fact that her medical "problem" (and i use that word only wrt her athletic career), had to come out as a leak over the ariwaves is a disgrace! I pray that God gives her the strength she needs to get through this!

  • Balanced - 2009-09-14 07:59

    Whilst I think that this whole personal medical saga is splashed in the media for all & sundry, is ridiculous, I do not think it is a racial issue. Regarding the commnt that blacks are not expected to achieve, especially in sports, is quite un-informed. Blacks dominate world atheletics - full stop. Also, though all are expected to adhere to the rule & regs, this is an exceptional case and the IAAF themselves do not have rules regarding Semenya's particular condition.
    We are in new territory here, people, & history has proven how we deal with change ... not well unfortunately, as can be seen by the circus around this issue.
    Is this difficult, Yes. Are we unsure. Yes. Could Caster have an advantage over competitors? Possibly. How do we find a way forward ? .... I dont know yet .... but trust that those people appointed to IAAF, ASA, etc can apply their intelligence & minds to a difficult situation and chart a positive way forward. Lets all hope for this. Viva Caster. You are CHAMPION, whatever any of us here say. Cheers

  • RichyRich - 2009-09-14 15:51

    Lets stand together for Chuene to be arrested for fraud, because he knew from the urine tests done in SA that Semenya had abnormally high levels of testosterone. By sending her he has caused this whole mess up. Thats why the other dude resigned from ASA. He knew the smell of sh-- was on the way. Chuene you disgust us all..

  • KD - 2009-09-14 17:43

    An Aussie commented on Caster: If you walk like duck, qaucks like duck, you probably a duck. To all the Aussies: If you look like a sheep, bleat like a sheep, you definately an AUSSIE!!!! Go Caster, go!!!!!!

  • European Athelete - 2009-09-14 23:41

    HI, for everyone in RSA. I have been following this storey, while the South African president and ASA thinks that this was racist, it is by no means. ASA is obligated to run tests on athletes before sending them to competitions locally and abroad this is normal. Because ASA failed to conduct tests, Caster Semenya has been humiliated. Blood tests and doping tests are a part of life for an athlete. It shows how incompetent RSA ASA actually is to run routine tests. It shows how little the South Africans know about athletics and trying to blame the IAAF. The IAAF did not humiliate Caster Semenya, they were merely running routine tests, South Africa did as they turned it into a political and racist issue which humiliated Caster. The nations president clearly has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to sports, by using the racist card clearly shows that South Africa (black or white) is the world’s racist capital.

  • Khwahla - 2009-09-15 12:11

    Poor lady is experiencing major problems with what is the whole world talking about,but the truth of the matter is she`s been created by God like me and you and there is hardly nothing she can do apart from accepting herself and carrying on with her normal life.People must stop looking at others and start focusing on their own issues.

  • Khwahla - 2009-09-15 12:12

    Poor lady is experiencing major problems with what is the whole world talking about,but the truth of the matter is she`s been created by God like me and you and there is hardly nothing she can do apart from accepting herself and carrying on with her normal life.People must stop looking at others and start focusing on their own issues.

  • Didi - 2009-09-15 12:21

    Why does this always turn into a racism issue. For pete's sake, get a drip South Africa. The issue is that the problem has not been handled in the correct way from the start. Stop trying to blame the world and use the race card everytime we make a mistake and start taking responsibility for what we do as a country. There is no better time than the present!!!

  • Oz - 2009-09-15 13:14

    Poor Australia. I could understand why you feel this way about Caster, seeing that you doing badly in cricket and just lost the tri-nations to SA, now you think you can make it up with Caster. You should be shamed of yourself!

  • Oz - 2009-09-15 13:26

    Poor Australia. I could understand why you feel this way about Caster, seeing that you doing badly in cricket and just lost the tri-nations to SA, now you think you can make it up with Caster. You should be shamed of yourself!

  • Oz - 2009-09-15 13:36

    Poor Australia. I could understand why you feel this way about Caster, seeing that you doing badly in cricket and just lost the tri-nations to SA, now you think you can make it up with Caster. You should be shamed of yourself!