Originally posted on August 18, 2016
Reposted on July 2, 2018
We repost this because, while we understand that there are high emotions on both sides of the questions regarding the upcoming CAS decision, pitting Caster Semenya on one side and the IAAF on the other, we ask that, as both parties agreed, respect for the differing of opinions be honored.
Caster Semenya will be the likely winner of the 800 meters. A fine athlete, she is caught in a controversy that could be easily fixed, but, due to much politics is not. In the end, several wonderful human beings will be thrown into public and social media because of their chromosomal makeup.
Caster met with our man in the seats, Jeff Benjamin and he wrote this short peice, asking for respect and kindess to be shown to Caster.
We ask for the same.
The Perplexities of Caster Semanaya
What does one say about Caster Semanaya? The South African moved on this morning in her 800 meters qualifying round, either to the joy, sorrow or anger of the fans. Semenya, known for having the condition called hyperandrogenism, which produced high levels of testosterone, had the sixth-fastest time of 1:59.31, a time both her and her competitors know is nowhere near her potential, as her PR is a dominating 1:55.93.
Therein lies the crux of the situation. By possessing more testosterone through no fault of her own, Semanaya is able to dominate her competitors, and some have already conceded that to her, sometimes very grudgingly.
It has not been easy for the South African. Having come onto the scene 7 years ago and dominating the 800, Semanaya has been the target of outrage and embarrassment, especially with the leaked information of the IAAF “secretly” testing her gender. Then there was a fierce fight over the issue between the IAAF and the Council of American Sport which included arbitration backing Semanaya’s eligibility, along with other athletes in her boat as well.
It seems she disappeared from the Athletics scene for awhile, but has roared back in this Olympic year, prompting renewed debate about what should be done.
Either way one cuts it, it won’t be fair to everybody. IAAF Leader Seb Coe has rightly said in media reports:
“But we need to remember these are human beings. This is a sensitive subject, they are athletes, they are daughters, they are sisters and we need to be very clear about this. We will treat this sensitively. We need to go back to Cas and we have the right people looking at this.”
There will be another round in this which will take place after Rio. So Semanaya runs, and she seems to be happy proud and honored to be doing it.
One can also add the word graceful, as she met a few fans and supporters after this mornings’ heats and willingly signed a few autographs and posed for pictures. “I’m very honored”, she said as she was walking amongst the small group of her Coach, entourage, and fans.
The only question is – Will it be reciprocated?