03-24-2019  3:54 am      •     
Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network
Published: 06 May 2011

South African running phenomenon Caster Semenya, who triumphed in several major races while facing humiliation over an ambiguous sex identity, has set another record.

No other woman runner will be judged by the "I know it when I see it" method or have to learn from watching TV that her sex has been questioned.

The International Olympic Committee and the International Association of Athletics Federations have a new policy to deal with athletes whose sex development is unusual.

The bad news is that the new policy appears biased and sexist which, critics worry, could trickle down to school-based sports.  Players will be tested for testosterone and women with high levels will be excluded from games while men will not.

"Women and men naturally make androgens — sometimes called strength-building hormones — including testosterone.  Yet despite the fact that testosterone belongs to women, too, the I.O.C. and the I.A.A.F. are basically calling it a manly thing: "You can have functional testosterone, but if you make too much, you're out of the game because you're not a real woman," wrote Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University.

Meanwhile, this month Semenya cruised into the 800-meter final at the South African national championships in Durban, winning her heat in 2 minutes 8.09 seconds.  Semenya was unable to defend the national title last year because of an enforced 11-month layoff after gender tests. 


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