ASA ‘new Caster’s test

2009-09-12 00:00

EVEN before the South African athletics team’s departure for the World Athletics championships in Germany, Caster Semenya underwent a gender test in the Medforum Hospital in Pretoria similar to the one she was subjected to in Germany.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) is adamant that such a test was never done, but Beeld has been told by a reliable source that it was done on August 7 on the orders of an ASA official.

That followed a request to ASA by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to have the test done.

The result of that test is apparently virtually the same as what was found in the examination in Berlin and is now creating a sensation worldwide.

The test in Pretoria also found that Semenya has no uterus or ovaries.

Caster apparently told friends after the test that she had been “scanned”, but didn’t know why.

Sport and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile threatened at a press conference in Pretoria that “it will be the Third World War” if the IAAF disqualifies Semenya from athletics if she is found to be a hermaphrodite (intersexed).

Stofile said he will write to the IAAF requesting the results of the its tests.

“We want copies of the results so that South African scientists can examine them independently,” he said.

Semenya was said to be “dumbfounded” by all the new facts about her, according to Beeld’s information. A doctor was to explain to her yesterday what “hermaphroditic” and other medical terms mean.

A spokesperson for Medforum Hospital would not say whether Semenya was examined in that hospital.

The Pretoria test results were never passed on to the IAAF, according to IAAF spokesman Nick Davies.

“Maybe ASA were shocked by the results [of the Pretoria examination].”

Beeld has it on good authority that shortly before the world championships, ASA team doctor Dr Harold Adams asked ASA president Leonard Chuene to withdraw Semenya from the championships. Chuene refused. Adams is believed to have returned to South Africa before the end of the championships and has been unreachable since then.

Semenya was apparently approached by ASA before the 800 metres semi-finals and asked whether she could pretend to be injured.

She refused.

Just before the finals, Semenya again underwent a full test at the IAAF’s request. She found out later from media reports what the tests were about, according to Beeld’s source.

Stofile said he wants ASA to explain its role in the Semenya saga to him.

In a statement yesterday, the IAAF pointed out that the test results leaked to an Australian newspaper on Thursday are not the official findings of the tests done on Semenya in Berlin.

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