Comments on Semenya's report offends SA

Posted By: Staff
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South Africa, Sep 12: Offended by comments of world champion runner Caster Semenya being a hermaphrodite, South Africa threatened a 'third world war' over the affair.

Semenya won the woman's 800 metres World Championships in Aug 2009, Berlin.

Athletics's governing body refused to comment on the issue in The Daily Telegraph newspaper, which stated that the 18-year-old-runner possessed both male and female characteristics.

"I think it would be the third world war. We will go to the highest levels in contesting such a decision. I think it would be totally unfair and totally unjust," said Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile.

South African President Jacob Zuma said that the issue was invading Semenya's privacy.

"I don't know why we should not respect the privilege between the doctor and the patient," said Zuma.

"Why, when the tests have been done, why was it published?"

It said the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), 'had also not ruled out stripping Semenya of her 800m world championships gold medal.'

However, Nick Davies, spokesman for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) denied any such allegation.

He said media reports on the gender test results should not be considered as official statements.

"There is a (IAAF) Council on 21 November and this will be the opportunity to conclusively finalise a decision," he said.

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