7.17.2010

What They Were Thinking: Caster Semenya Edition



Click comic to ENLARGE.

Please excuse the sexist stereotyping in the above, but (I felt) I needed it to set up the 'toilet seat' punchline.

Caster Semenya is a South African 800 meters runner who shot to global fame last year when she won her specialty at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, crushing the field in a time of 1:55:45.

Semenya, to be frank, looks quite a bit like a man, especially in terms of musculature, and questions were raised after her victory (and well before, but Athletics South Africa and the International Amateur Athletics Federation covered that up) about whether or not she is a woman (in 1932, Poland's Stella Walsh won the 100 meters gold medal and was later found to have been a hermaphrodite; she remains on the books as the gold medalist).

This year, following a gender test and presumably, months of negotiations aimed at saving face for the IAAF and the South Africans, Semenya was cleared to return to competition (as a woman), and she won her debut race in Lappeenranta, Finland on July 15. The results of her gender test remain undisclosed.

There is no greater victim in this badly bungled affair than Semenya, but it's equally clear that the IAAF (and IOC) rules should be clarified to address the question of eligibility for hermaphrodite athletes (who clearly have an advantage over 'normal' women).

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Politicomix by Roberto De Vido is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License