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Semenya Lacks Uterus and Ovaries


Tests have revealed that South African track star Caster Semenya, who has been hounded over her gender after a powerful performance at an international track championship, was born without a uterus or ovaries, a source close to the case told Australia's Daily Telegraph.

The tests came after Semenya won the 800-meter finals at the International Association of Athletics Federation championships in Berlin. Her time, 1 minute, 55.45 seconds, was the fastest by a woman in 2009.

While the IAAF declined to comment officially on the matter, its general secretary, Pierre Weiss, said, "It's clear that she is a woman, but maybe not 100%."

The results show that the 18-year-old was born with both male and female characteristics; while she lacks female reproductive organs, she has internal male testes, which are producing large amounts of testosterone. Prior testing had revealed that Semenya had more than three times the amount of testosterone most women have. According to the Daily Telegraph, the IAAF is expected to disqualify Semenya and the runner may be advised to undergo surgery to avoid potential medical complications.

In the wake of Semenya's championship performance and subsequent controversy over her gender, African National Congress MP and National Assembly sports committee chairman Butana Komphela filed a complaint with the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights charging the IAAF with racism.

Semenya recently appeared on the cover of You magazine, a South African publication, sporting a new, more feminine look. Amid testing following questions as to whether the 800-meter world champion is biologically female, Semenya used the article to emphasize how much she likes her stylish outfits, glamorous jewelry, and stiletto heels.

"I see it all as a joke, it doesn't upset me," she told the magazine, regarding the gender row. "God made me the way I am and I accept myself. I am who I am and I'm proud of myself. I don't want to talk about the tests -- I'm not even thinking about them."

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