IAAF refuse to confirm Semenya reports

The International Association of Athletics Federations has urged caution over reports emanating from Australia which suggest 800 metres world champion Caster Semenya is a hermaphrodite.

The IAAF commissioned a gender test on the South African after her performance levels improved remarkably in the build-up to last month's World Championships.

She then stormed to the 800m title in Berlin over two seconds ahead of defending champion Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph now claims the tests have shown the 18-year-old has both male and female sexual characteristics.

The IAAF responded by releasing a statement which read: "The IAAF can state that statements in the Australian press should be treated with caution as they are not official statements by the IAAF.

"We have received the results from Germany, but they now need to be examined by a group of experts and we will not be in a position to speak to the athlete about them for at least a few weeks.

"After that, depending on the results, we will meet privately with the athlete to discuss further action."

It has already been revealed Semenya has levels of testosterone in her body three times higher than normal for women.

When quizzed on the gender issue recently, Semenya told South African magazine You: "I see it all as a joke, it doesn't upset me.

"God made me the way I am and I accept myself. I am who I am and I'm proud of myself.

"I don't want to talk about the tests - I'm not even thinking about them."

The controversy has not stopped South Africa from embracing Semenya as its latest sporting star.

Thousands of fans greeted her on her return from Germany, cramming the airport, waving placards, singing, dancing and hoping to catch a glimpse of the teenager.

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