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Proteas 800 m woman gold medallist accused of being a man

Posted By: Staff

Berlin (Germany), Aug.21 (ANI): South Africa's 18-year-old 800 m gold medallist Caster Semenya has caused a sensation of sorts at the World Championships being held here.

Not only has she recorded the fastest time of the year by a woman, but she is also being called a man.ow, her family has slammed these claims, saying: "It is God who made her look that way, but she is a girl."

According to The Sun, muscular Caster could be stripped of her medal after athletics bosses ordered a "gender verification test".

She has suffered "years of teasing" over her masculine looks, say her family.

Mum Dorcus, 40, who refers to her daughter by her African name and raised her in the village of Seshego in Limpopo province, yesterday defended the Berlin victory.

She said: "I am not worried what they say because I know who and what my child is.

"Mokgadi Caster is a girl - and no one can change that. So I am not concerned about such things. If you go to our village and ask any of the neighbours, they will tell you she is a girl."

The teen's gran, Maphuthi Sekgala, 80, added: "I know she's a woman. I helped raise her myself. She called me after the heats and told me that they think she's a man. But it is God who made her look that way. What can I do when they call her a man when she's not really a man?"

Maphuthi said: "If the teasing hurt her, she kept the hurt to herself and didn't show what she was feeling."

Caster's father Jacob also pleaded with the athletics authorities to leave his daughter alone.

He said: "She is my little girl. I raised her and I have never doubted her gender. She is a woman and I can repeat that a million times." (ANI)

Story first published: Friday, August 21, 2009, 16:18 [IST]
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