There is good news to report on Caster Semenya, the South African 800m world champion whose victory was overshadowed by an international controversy over her gender. Semenya will be allowed to keep her 800-meter gold medal and the results of her gender tests will be kept confidential, the South African sports ministry says.
The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has ruled that the 18-year-old, who stormed to victory only for questions to be raised about her gender immediately after the race, was innocent of any wrongdoing. Semenya's victory was overshadowed by the revelation that the IAAF had commissioned a gender test on the teenager. However, South Africa's government, Semenya's lawyers and the IAAF had reached total agreement that she should retain her medal, title and prize money and confirmed that gender tests conducted on Semenya would remain confidential.
The results of complex gender tests were leaked in August that revealed Semenya is intersexed with internal testes and no uterus or ovaries. Several South African sports officials, who were recently dismissed, were apparently aware of Semenya's medical condition but did not tell her. The 18-year-old later went into hiding and reportedly received trauma counseling.
Semanya is awaiting a further decision on whether she may continue to compete as a woman.
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