World athletics ruling body, IAAF rocked by the Caster Semenya saga, will today begin to examine what qualifies an athlete to run as a woman.
The IAAF medical and judicial commission is set to come out with a true definition of a female athlete after the gender row involving the South African runner cast a shadow on the women 800m race at the Berlin 2009 World Championships. The race was effortlessly won by the 18-year-old Semenya, but the world of athletics hardly accepted the victory as the IAAF admitted that it has carried out a gender test on Semenya.
According to IAAF secretary-general, Pierre Weiss it would take up to a year to deliver what would best address the subject as there are no acceptable explanation on what qualifies an athlete with â€˜sexual ambiguityâ€™ such as Semenya.
â€œWe will get a reply in the next 12 monthsâ€”I donâ€™t expect anything to come out before then.
â€œWe were in Copenhagen (at the International Olympic Committee meetings) and I asked my colleagues from other sports if they had a definition and nobody has one. But nobody (else) has had the problem so far.â€
Weiss expects the IOC medical commission to also consider the issue in November in Lausanne.
Semenya has external female organs, but she was reported to have internal testicles, which produces abnormally high level of hormones, that is noticeable in her deep masculine voice and biceps.
She also recorded stunning improvements in her performances within a short period of time, this was why the IAAF ordered a test after the African junior championships in Mauritius where Semenya ran the world leading time prior to the Berlin worlds.