ASA Knew about Semenya Debacle, Email Trail found, from, Commentary by Larry Eder



(Caster Semenya with ASA Prez Leonard Chuene, photo courtesy of All rights reserved by

In a copyrighted article from (, it is fairly obvious to this observer, and should be to our readers, that ASA Leonard Chuene, President of the South African athletic federation, is about to get caught, stretching the truth. When I was a child, it might have been called, "fibbing". In the adult world, it is called lying. As one prominent reporter once told me, "All that you know about a person when they lie, is that they are a liar."

The problem with fibbing, or stretching the truth, is that one must have a good memory to remember all of the directions the story could go. In this case, Mr. Chuene has been quoted by AP that he did not know about gender testing on Caster Semenya. This seems to be countered by an alleged list of emails held by Winifred Daniels, the former ASA Performance chief, who resigned last week, over the way Caster Semenya has been treated in this debacle.

The emails from Mr. Daniels show a line of communication not only with the President of the ASA, but also with the South African government, as Daniels was one of the physicians who oversaw the health of South Africa's President. What is fascinating, is how much work it takes to dismiss a lie. Mr. Chuene has tried to distance himself from Mr. Daniels, yet, according to the recent story in today's, Mr. Daniels' name is still listed on the ASA website.

As of this morning, our Runblogrun newsfeed notes 641 essays, blogs, features on the Caster Semenya affair ( We have provided the link for your further reading.

Following the World Championships, I wrote that, in the end, Caster Semenya has been forced to have very private issues, those of her gender, discussed around the globe on television, radio and web coverage. It is pretty clear that the ASA management knew of the request for gender testing and that this would be an issue in Berlin. Calling the testing racist, calling the researchers sexual fascists does not change the facts that the issue could have avoided any publicity if the ASA President, Leonard Chuene had the best interests of Caster Semenya and his country at the forefront of his attention. Instead, it seems like Mr. Chuene's need for sports medals has sacrificed, in the end, an innocent young athlete.

If the email trail from Mr. Daniels are correct, and Mr. Chuene has in fact, stretched the truth about his knowledge of the request for gender testing, or the actual fact that gender testing was performend, then the only honorable thing for the current ASA President to do is to become a former ASA President. Leonard Chuene should resign. Under his watch, the ASA has caused damage to this young athlete and damage to the reputation of the federation.

More sources:

Updated RBR feature on Caster Semenya:

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