Semenya to learn fate in November - IAAF

newspic4aa8fa66bf154 AFP D-day: The results of gender tests conducted on Caster Semenya in Berlin are not complete. Photo: AFP

Paris - South Africa's women's 800 metres world champion Caster Semenya, who had to undergo gender testing following her gold medal showing, will learn her fate in November, the sport's governing body the IAAF said on Thursday.

"The case will in principle come before the executive council which meets on November 20-21. There'll be nothing before that," Pierre Weiss, secretary-general of the International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF), said.

"It is clear that she is a woman but maybe not 100 percent. We have to see if she has an advantage from her possibly being between two sexes compared to the others.

"We still don't have all the results and those we do have must be submitted to experts for evaluation.

"The problem we have today is to know whether we submit these results to experts from outside the IAAF or our own medical commission which meets in Monaco on October 16 or to the two panels."

The IAAF, Weiss added, could also be bound by medical secrecy laws which could prevent the full results being revealed should the athlete oppose it.

"We don't have any texts on this subject as we do for doping. There is no provision in our rules as to what our decision might be."

The IAAF announced shortly before her win at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin last month that the 18-year-old Semenya would have to undergo a barrage of tests aimed at verifying her gender.

The gender-testing debate sparked outrage in South Africa, with the ruling party and its youth and women's wings calling the tests "sexist and racist".

Weiss said Semenya's case was the eighth dealing with sexuality issues the IAAF had handled since 2005.

"Four athletes were asked to stop their career," he confirmed, without giving further details.

IAAF spokesman Nick Davies also clarified the body's position should Semenya fail gender tests.

"There should be no assumption that medals would be stripped or results changed for the obvious reason that this is not a doping case, but a medical one," he said.

"If she is found to have a condition where excessive amounts of testosterone are being produced then she cannot be blamed for what happened before that fact is confirmed.

"So it would be very difficult to impose a retroactive sanction on an athlete who was entered by her federation, and whose entry was accepted by the IAAF."

Davies also dispelled rumours in South Africa that IAAF president Lamine Diack would be travelling there to apologise for the Semenya affair in the South African parliament.

The claims, he said, were "wild speculation drawn from two letters Lamine Diack sent privately to the relevant ministers".

Quoted in the Afrikaans daily Beeld on Thursday, Davies also had strong words for Athletics South Africa (ASA), accusing it of preventing the IAAF from speaking to Semenya.

"ASA's actions can have serious consequences for Semenya if we are not able to speak to her soon. In short, it will come down to her refusing to cooperate," Beeld cited Davies as saying. - Sapa-AFP


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