In Brief

Caster Semenya: ANC Women's League hits out at gender critics

Group denounces media analysis of Olympic runner as 'humiliating and demoralising'

South Africa's ANC Women's League has hit out at the latest "unwarranted gender analysis" of Olympics runner Caster Semenya.

The 25-year-old became the first person to win all three of the 400m, 800m and 1500m titles at the South African National Championships this year and is expected to dominate the Olympics 800m race later this week. However, she has long faced scrutiny over her gender.

"Semenya is described as an 'intersex' athlete, meaning she does not conform to typical notions of male or female bodies," says The Guardian. "She produces testosterone at a level much higher than most women, prompting questions about whether that gives her an unfair biological advantage on the track."

Semenya was forced to undergo gender verification investigation tests after winning the 800m at the World Championships in 2009. She was cleared in 2010 to compete by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), whose regulations to curb testosterone levels in female athletes were overturned by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport last year.

However, media outlets around the world still question whether it is fair for her to compete in the women's Olympics races.

The ANC Women's League says the criticism is "humiliating and demoralising" and "creates the impression an African woman can't excel in sport". 

Semenya's "eligibility to compete against other female athletes is not a debatable matter as she was born a girl and no amount of public humiliation can change her gender", it adds.

The group has called on South Africans to support the gold medallist and to condemn speculation around her gender.

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