By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com August 25 2009 2:40 PM ET
Early testing for track athlete Caster Semenya shows that the 800-meter world champion has "high testosterone levels," according to London's Daily Telegraph.
Preliminary results of hormone testing show that the 18-year-old South African has three times the expected level of testosterone compared to other women.
Semenya clocked the world's fastest time this year in the 800-meter finals at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Berlin. Since then, Semenya has been asked to undergo gender testing.
Ekkhart Arbeit, the head coach of the South African track team, was involved in the major doping scandals with East German athletes in the 1970s and 1980s and has been accused by a female athlete of giving her so many steroids she had to undergo a sex change and live her life as a man. However, earlier reports of Semenya's upbringing show that some people, like her high school principal, were unsure of her gender prior to the start of her track career.
IAAF president Lamine Diack admitted that the public outcry over Semenya's gender could have been treated more sensitively. "It should not even have become an issue if the confidentiality had been respected," Diack said according to the Telegraph. "There was a leak of confidentiality at some point and this led to some insensitive reactions."