Caster may have been treated

2010-07-18 16:24

An exercise psychologist believes it is likely that Caster Semenya underwent

­hormone treatment – contrary to what the athletics champion claimed last


The 19-year-old marked her return to competition with a 2:04.22

finish at the Elite Series Lappeenranta Games in Finland this week, which was

nine seconds slower than her 1:55.45 time at the World Championships last


Cape Town-based exercise and science expert Dr Ross Tucker said he

would be “very surprised if Semenya did not go for

some form of treatment”.

Cape Town-based exercise and science expert Dr Ross Tucker said he would be “very surprised if Semenya did not go for some form of treatment”.

“I say this because of the time-frames. Last August, when she was tested first by ASA and then the IAAF, they would have known exactly what her condition was. A team of doctors working together would have this diagnosis within a week. It’s complex physiology but it’s not impossible,” he said.

Asked about Semenya’s performance

when she won gold in Germany Tucker said the result had elevated the runner to

among the fastest 20 women of all time.

“If you look at the top 20 performances of all time you’ll see that

most are from the 1980s and most are set by women from the eastern European

countries – East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Russia.

“These countries are known to have had drug programmes and so

pretty much the entire list of the top 10 women in history are certain dopers.

That’s why nobody has come within two seconds of the world record in 20 years.

And it’s also the reason an 18-year old girl (Semenya) running 1:55.45 was met with so much


Semenya said recently that she has

not undergone any operation prior to her return to the track.

Tucker said: “Some form of medical monitoring has to have happened

over the last 10 months. If they decided to go for hormone treatment then it

would easily take 10 months to have an effect. If they were monitoring her

levels, this would explain the time. I therefore believe that she

has had some kind of treatment.”

He added: “I believe this treatment will also cause her to slow

down as we know from the Russian and Germans if you use testosterone for doping

you can improve your 800m time by five seconds.”

Before her return this week Semenya

failed two 600m fitness trials. She admitted she was unfit and said her focus

was on next year’s competition.

Tucker said in the absence of any hormone replacement he

expected Semenya to clock under two minutes

next month.


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