'My daughter does not deserve this'
By Lebogang Seale
As the furore over gender tests on gold medallist Caster Semenya deepens, the athlete's mother is seething.
In an interview with Indepdendent News and Media on Saturday, Dorcus Semenya spoke about how she had been deeply hurt by this week's media reports that her daughter was a hermaphrodite.
The 18-year-old underwent tests to determine if she was a woman after becoming 800m world champion in August.
"If they had such doubts about her (gender), why did they wait until she won before they questioned who or what she was?" she asked.
"Why did they allow her to compete before they complained? Would they have treated her this way if she had not won any race? No! That's so unfair," she said.
A distraught Semenya said although she initially was not worried about the gender tests - as she had no doubts about Caster's orientation - she was now saddened by how the issue had been handled.
"I don't care about what they say she (Caster) is, because I am her mother. But what makes me angry is that, as parents, we were not even told she was going to be tested.
"They acted like thieves who break into your house and do what they want," she said.
She said, "What is even more heartbreaking is that my child said she was not told anything about the tests.
"Now I heard they were trying to contact her about the results. How could they want to inform her about something she does not even know about? Is that fair?" she asked.
Semenya, 60, said the tests on Caster could have been motivated by jealousy and racism.
"Maybe she didn't deserve to win because she is black. But my child does not deserve to be treated like this. She worked hard to get where she is today. If they don't want her to be a world champion, they must just say so and leave her alone."
She said she had now left everything in "God's hands, because only He knows the truth".
South African politicians have threatened a "third world war" over the hermaphrodite claims. Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile said Semenya's treatment by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was "disgusting".
He argued that hermaphrodites had no scientific advantage.
Asked what would happen if she was barred from competing in future events, he said, "I think it would be the third world war. We will go to the highest levels to contest such a decision."
Officials earlier indicated South Africa was investigating helping Semenya sue the IAAF after the results of her gender tests were leaked.
The IAAF, which ordered the tests, refused to confirm or deny Australian media reports that the tests indicated male and female characteristics.
The international body said it was reviewing the results and would decide in November whether she would be allowed to continue to compete in women's events.
There was confusion in Ga-Masehlong, the village where Caster was born, and the neighbouring one of Fairlie, where she went to high school.