SA athletics chief won't step down over Semenya test
Athletics:South African athletics chief Leonard Chuene insists he will not “jump ship” after admitting he knew Caster Semenya had undergone a gender test prior to the World Championships.
However Chuene was today facing calls from the South African government for him to leave his post as president of Athletics South Africa.
Chuene had denied knowing Semenya was tested before competing in Berlin, where she won the 800metres gold medal. He has now admitted he was aware, but had kept the information private to protect Semenya’s privacy, and that tests were undertaken on August 7th.
Deputy sports minister Gert Oosthuizen expressed frustration that even the government were not privy to events behind the scenes within the national association.
The International Association of Athletics Federations have recently urged caution over reports which suggest Semenya is a hermaphrodite.
Oosthuizen said: “Mr Chuene has not only lied to us as the ministry, but to the whole country, and this is not acceptable.
“We are convinced that the perpetual denial of the knowledge of these tests have fuelled the continuous violation of Ms Semenya’s rights and dignity, by foreign and some local media.
“We do not agree with Mr Chuene’s insistence that he lied in Ms Semenya’s interest, in fact we are of the view that his lies were to Ms Semenya’s detriment.
“In light of this, we now request the membership of ASA to not only take disciplinary action against Mr Chuene, but to fire him from his position as the president of ASA. If they fail to do so, they will be running the risk of being led by a liar.”
Chuene, though, insisted he was going nowhere, saying: “I will face this head on. I won’t jump ship.”
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.
It was reported this month that tests have shown the 18-year-old has both male and female sexual characteristics.