Semenya ‘first tested at Gauteng clinic on ASA’s approval’

2009-09-14 07:02

ATHLETICS South Africa (ASA) knew about medical tests a team of doctors were performing on Caster Semenya before she participated in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin last month, a source close to ASA has said.

According to the source ASA had approved the tests, which were done in a clinic in Gauteng, after they were informed that she would be tested in Berlin by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Semenya was allegedly sent to the clinic by her coach, Michael Seme. Although the results of such tests were usually available in two to three weeks, Semenya’s had not yet been released.

The source said if the results were not made public within the next two weeks it should be accepted that they probably never will be or that the tests were never done.

The international body would make a decision about ­Semenya’s future at their next congress in ­November. The decision would be based on the tests they did in Berlin.

The tests were recommended by the IAAF’s medical committee, which was investigating the ­results. The committee was scheduled to meet at its headquarters in ­Monaco next month to study the results and make a recommendation.

IAAF insiders said no decisions regarding Semenya would be made until the two-day congress – taking place on November 20 and 21 – had ­discussed the medical committee’s recommendations.

Asked whether gender testing was done on Semenya locally, the source replied: ‘‘We cannot comment on that.’’

The source also denied that IAAF president Lamine Diack would ­travel to South Africa soon to apologise to Parliament for the way the association had treated Semenya.

Asked if Semenya’s medals and prize money would be taken away from her if it was found that she had had a unfair advantage over her competitors, the source said: “That will depend on the legal advice we receive and how the case will progress from now on.”

Meanwhile, a source in Sports and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile’s office claimed that ASA knew that Semenya underwent gender tests locally long before she went to the championships last month. But ASA president Leonard Chuene denied this, saying he also wanted to know who had authorised the tests. “Who paid and signed for these tests?” asked Chuene.

He said ASA could only be cleared by Dr Harold Adams, a member of the IAAF medical council and Team SA medical officer, and the IAAF ­itself.

Chuene previously said Adams had advised him to withdraw ­Semenya from the 800m final on the basis that they had conducted the tests, which could prove that she was a man. Adams could not been reached for comment.

Efforts to speak to Semenya, who dropped out of the South African Cross Country Championships held in Pretoria yesterday, drew a blank.

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