Caster Semenya, the track star at the center of an international controversy over gender, has appeared in a photo glamour shoot in her native South Africa. The 18-year-old Semenya appears in a four-page feature in You, featured on the cover in a tight black dress and necklace with the headline "Wow, Look at Caster Now."
Caster says she likes the look, too: "I'd like to dress up more often and wear dresses but I never get the chance. I am who I am and I'm proud of myself."
"Nothing Semenya has done in the past month has suggested that she likes to wear dresses, get manicures and let down her hair. After the controversy broke, she kept her cornrows, wore baggy clothes and pounded her chest in victory like a college football cornerback. When she returned to her hometown, she was dressed the same way. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. That seemed to be Semenya's natural inclination. This feels forced.
Hopefully I'm wrong. But if Semenya was pressured to do this to silence her critics, then this is a sad story rather than one of retribution. The opinions of a few jealous coaches shouldn't have an effect on how an 18-year old carries herself. If Semenya wants to wear dresses then she should. But if she wants to run around in track suits, what's the problem with that?
In other news: South African national track coach Wilfred Daniels has resigned. The coach now admits he should have told Semenya in July that she was to undergo gender verification tests—not tests for doping violations.
The IAAF confirms the results of the complex gender tests will be known in the next two weeks, but would only be released after consultation with Semenya.