Semenya Ban Would Start World War III: S. Africa

Sports minister steps up defense of racing champ
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2009 1:47 PM CDT
Semenya Ban Would Start World War III: S. Africa
In this Aug. 19, 2009, file photo, South Africa's Caster Semenya celebrates after winning the gold medal in the final of the Women's 800m at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File)

South Africa’s sports minister threatened “the third world war” if Caster Semenya is barred from competing in women’s sporting events because of the results of a sex test, the BBC reports. Such a decision “would be totally unfair and totally unjust,” said the official. “We would go to the highest levels in contesting such a decision.”

The test results won't be released until November, but Australian reports say they will show that Semnya is a hermaphrodite, meaning she has female and male traits. The gold medal she won at the World Championships is likely secure, but she could be barred from competition. It's also possible she could compete again if she consents to treatment.
(Read more South Africa stories.)

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