SA rallies behind Caster Semenya after report claims IAAF will fight to classify her as a 'biological male'

15 February 2019 - 10:28 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Caster Semenya celebrates winning gold in the women’s 800m final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London in 2017.
Caster Semenya celebrates winning gold in the women’s 800m final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London in 2017.
Image: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya is receiving an outpouring of support from the public and the South African government.

The backing follows claims in a news report that lawyers for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will argue that Semenya be classified as a "biological male".

In a statement on Wednesday night, the IAAF denied the claims:"The IAAF is not classifying any differences of sexual development (DSD) as male. To the contrary, we accept their legal sex without question."

Sports Ministry spokesman Vuyo Mhaga said: "Our stance has always been that someone like Caster, who has never injected anything in her body, must be allowed to compete."

Soon after the news broke, people took to Twitter to express their support for Semenya, with some calling on the federation to stop harassing her.

Semenya’s troubles with the federation have dragged on for almost a decade.

At the 2009 world championships in Berlin, the IAAF withheld her gold medal pending gender-verification results.


X