Is there such a thing as “failing” a gender test?
A source closely involved with the IAAF tests said Semenya had internal testes the male sexual organs that produce testosterone, according to the Telegraph.
As a result, the IAAF could disqualify the South African from future events and strip her of her gold medal, the newspaper reported.
But IAAF spokesman Nick Davies told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Semenya is likely to keep her gold.
"There is no automatic disqualification of results in a case like this," Davies said. "This is not a doping case at present, so it shouldn't be considered as one where you have a retroactive stripping of results."
None of the reports I’ve found say anything about karyotype. The spokesman’s comments raise the question of culpability versus performance advantage. Semenya’s testosterone-fueled development is arguably a competitive advantage over other women. But she’s done nothing wrong; she did not seek out this advantage. Yet girls in many countries diagnosed with internal testes would usually have them surgically removed – would their parents refuse the surgery if it neutralized a possible sports career? What triggers eligibility, anyway?
UPDATE (2009-09-14): A reader writes:
[T]he answer to be found in her name "Caster Semenya?" : "A secret man? Yes".