Caster Semenya has lost her appeal against rules designed to decrease naturally high testosterone levels in some female runners. File picture: Mark Schiefelbein/AP

JOHANNESBURG - None of it will make sense. At least not to the people of Ga-Masehlong, Moletjie outside Polokwane in the Limpopo province.

It never has. And to them, the latest developments around Caster Semenya will be nothing more than another episode in the West’s sad endeavours to deny their GIRL from doing what God has created her for - to run.

For you see, ever since Dorus and Jacob Semenya’s DAUGHTER was able to walk, running was always something SHE loved doing. Throughout the village, everyone knew that Mokgadi was a very fast GIRL.

At school SHE shone on that dusty soccer ground that doubled up as a race track, her speed enthralling watchers and leaving competitors scrambling for the runner-up spot while SHE had long “broken the tape”.

And when SHE became a national and international hero through her successes on the track, they celebrated the GIRL next door who made it big - with many youngsters from villages suddenly realising that they too can make a success of their lives, irrespective of their backgrounds.

Yesterday the Council for Arbitration for Sport (CAS) moved to take it all away from her when they dismissed both her requests for arbitration.

Semenya and Athletics South Africa had requested that the DSD regulations be declared invalid and void with immediate effect, but the CAS panel felt the claimants were unable to establish the regulations’ invalidity.

Intriguingly, the panel found that the said regulations were discriminatory. And here’s the clincher... while they found them discriminatory, the panel found that such discrimination is “a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in restricted events”.

Go figure! The great American swimmer Michael Phelps was essentially proven to have some unfair advantage over the others given his “anatomical advantage”. But did they raise questions about it?

No, the world celebrated him as a phenomenon in the pool - his seeming unfair advantage notwithstanding.

But an African child comes along and dominates her sport of choice and suddenly regulations are put in place to literally ensure she cannot compete.

Call me naive or whatever you want, but I cannot help but feel this lass from Ga-Masehlong is just way too good for their liking and the IAAF and CAS are simply hellbent on clipping her wings.

Granted there is no proof that the 800m record holder Jarmila Kratochvilova had the high levels of testestorone that Mokgadi apparently has.

But such is her make up that many have easily mistaken her for a man.

Kratochvilova’s 800m record, set way back in 1983 stands to this day. And Semenya was slowly inching closer to demolishing it. But no, they cannot have an African WOMAN be so dominant, can they?

The world can label her any which way they want and devise means to deny her the opportunity to do what God has created her for.

But out in Ga-Masehlong, and no doubt villages the country and continent over, they will always celebrate Mokgadi Caster Semenya as the running GIRL who brought glory to not only her village but country and continent as well. 

And that is just how it is, regardless of whatever happens going forward with her running career.


The Star

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