4 WINDS Statement on Woman's 800 Meters Gold Medalist Caster Semenya's Sex Investigation
Contact: 4 WINDS, 608-469-7956; www.4WCA.org
MADISON, Wisc., Aug. 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- Caster Semenya (South Africa) captured the gold medal in the 800 meters at the recent World Championships in Berlin. Her time of 1:55.45 was impressive for the 18 year-old who had mediocre times the previous year.
In Britain, the BBC and the Daily Telegraph newspapers reported that Semenya's testosterone levels were three times higher than normal, prompting the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) to investigate the sex of Semenya.
The tests will take weeks to complete. Tests will include a gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist, an internal medicine specialist, and a gender expert.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of former President Nelson Mandela, said that people do not have the right to question Caster Semenya's biological make-up. Others say that racism is the reason for the required tests.
The liberal San Francisco-based National Sexuality Resource Center (NSRC) says the IAAF should "stay out of Caster Semenya's pants". "Your efforts to make champion Caster Semenya 'prove' she is a woman are shameful and unnecessary, and undermine the integrity and dignity of women athletes."
4 WINDS commends the IAAF for conducting future tests on Caster Semenya. In 2003, 4 WINDS was the only Christian organization protesting the International Olympic Committee's decision to allow transgender athletes in the Olympics after sexual reassignment surgery.
4 WINDS is not implying that Semenya is an athlete who is purposely cheating, but may be a victim of circumstances. We believe compassion is important, however, chromosome make-up should be the determining factor in these situations. When an athlete enters the international level, some rights are lost.
4 WINDS believes sex tests should start in all Olympic sports. The IOC should begin sex testing again. 4 WINDS believes an athletes' chromosome make-up should be the determining factor in decisions on sex. If these lines get blurred, future record assaults in athletic events will become prevalent.
The tests on Caster Semenya may prove to be normal, which is what 4 WINDS hopes for. However, when an athlete enters international competition, some rights will be lost. For example, drug tests occur on a regular basis.
'Blade runner' Oscar Pistorius, another South African, had to have his prosthetic devices tested in his quest to make the 2008 Olympic team. He was eventually cleared to compete on the international level.
At 18 years of age, Caster Semenya is capable of breaking the world-record in the 800 meters. Semenya could run under 1:50, breaking the world record by over three seconds. It is imperative that tests be conducted properly.
Steve McConkey is the President of 4 WINDS, a Christian apologetics and track and field ministry. Steve and his wife have been in track and field ministries since 1981. Steve was born in Des Moines, Iowa and grew up in Dairyland, Wisconsin. He graduated with honors from Minnesota State University-Mankato (BS-Public Health) and Western Kentucky University (Masters of Public Health). From 1982 through 1992, he was a Director/Coach of elite post-collegiate Christian teams.