Caster's treatment 'humiliating'

2009-08-22 17:50

Johannesburg - The Inkatha Freedom Party has condemned the treatment of 800m athlete Caster Semenya, calling it "most humiliating" on Saturday.

Semenya won the world title, but the IAAF has asked her to undergo a gender verification test as there are doubts about her gender, given her muscular physique.

"The IFP decries the most humiliating manner in which South African athlete Caster Semenya was treated by the world athletics body," said IFP women's affairs spokesperson Connie Zikalala in a statement.

It said it supported Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation's complaint with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights over the gender test.

"The insensitive handling of Ms Semenya's gender test not only undermines ASA, but it also reflects badly on international relations.

"The IFP is not adverse to legal blood tests conducted on athletes. However, this test involving Ms Semenya is a gross violation of her privacy and is highly suspect as it exposes feelings of jealousy and unfair discrimination.

"The world community should not allow itself to be dragged back into medieval practises where the mere looks of a human being could make him or her a social outcast," Zikalala said.

The IFP congratulated Semenya on winning the gold medal at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin and wished her well in her sporting career.