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Tests Say Semenya An Hermaphrodite? [split]

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  • #46
    Originally posted by bman
    Two thoughts: 1, her test/epi-test ratio is reportedly well within the limit, yet the supposed advantage of her condition is that she has male sex organs that produce too much testosterone. Can someone explain this to me?
    No expert here, but if someone has testes producing testosterone and no ovaries or uterus, I'm not sure the test/epi-test ratio as it relates to women is part of the equation anymore.

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    • #47
      What looks to me like decent science/history on the subject of physical examinations can be found on p183 and following here

      http://tinyurl.com/p3e9r9

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      • #48
        Let's have an end to idle speculation about previous IAAF cases please. These are real people we're talking about, not characters in a game of Clue. Nobody deserves to be dragged into the same kind of mess in which Semenya finds herself.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by gh
          Nobody deserves to be dragged into the same kind of mess in which Semenya finds herself.
          Amen. And apparently she was not apprised of the findings directly, so she has to watch it play out in the media?

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          • #50
            Originally posted by bad hammy
            Originally posted by bman
            Two thoughts: 1, her test/epi-test ratio is reportedly well within the limit, yet the supposed advantage of her condition is that she has male sex organs that produce too much testosterone. Can someone explain this to me?
            No expert here, but if someone has testes producing testosterone and no ovaries or uterus, I'm not sure the test/epi-test ratio as it relates to women is part of the equation anymore.
            T/E is a ratio. T can be measured all by itself and is regularly. T/E is an indicator of doping and today is combined with an exogenous testosterone test to determine if doping has occurred. A good example of this is the Floyd Landis case in cycling. His T/E ratio was elevated but his raw T level was apparently (argued publicly in front of the CAS) within normal measures (contrary to what Dick Pound spun in the news). But... his E level was depressed and thus he failed the T/E test and his sample went to the secondary test, which he also failed. T and E occur in both males and females.

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            • #51
              Thank you for posting that link Garry. Fascinating stuff that answers a lot of the questions posed here, shows that these issues are indeed far from black and white, and gives a good overview of the tortuous history of attempts to test and fully codify gender in Olympic sports.

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              • #52
                Since they have special Olympics and athletics, i guess the IAAF needs a hermaphrodite or intersex athletics.

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                • #53
                  In case nobody mentioned earlier, important to note something that's brought up by IAAF in the "decide in November" article now posted to front page.

                  This is not a doping case, it's a medical case, with bottom line being that even if she's "illegal," it doesn't mean they'd do anything to recast the medals.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by gh
                    sorry, beyond my technical expertise
                    The article is a very good historical synopsis.
                    "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                    by Thomas Henry Huxley

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                    • #55
                      no-no! creating the tinyurl thing is over my pay grade (biology I can do!)

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                      • #56
                        incredibly sad, she is a victim, my heart goes out to her. :cry:
                        phsstt!

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by SQUACKEE
                          incredibly sad, she is a victim, my heart goes out to her. :cry:
                          Her and the many thousands who have the same challenges but never had the opportunity for such disappointment on a world stage.

                          At the end of the day, I am with TD. Its less about gender, its all about testosterone levels.

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                          • #58
                            No need for TinyURL here. Just use the url= tag. Exempli gratia:

                            Physical examination

                            By the way, is this the article to which DrJay referred?

                            IAAF has no reason to disqualify 800-meter champion Semenya

                            Because of problems with the methods, sex-verification testing was abandoned by the IOC prior to the 2000 Sydney Games, and by the IAAF back in 1991. (IAAF can still test an individual athlete when suspicions arise). A commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) from 2000 applauded the end of sex testing because, although it "superficially seems endorsable on the grounds of fairness ... in reality, gender verification tests are difficult, expensive and potentially inaccurate."

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                            • #59
                              There was a virtually identical case in 1966. Erika Schinegger of Austria won the women's downhill at the World Championships.

                              It was later discovered she was a man, whose sex organs had grown internally. (S)He had no idea.

                              He was stripped of his gold medal which went to Marielle Goitschel of France.
                              He changed his first name to Erik and briefly tried to compete as a male, but was not welcomed by the national association and retired. He later married, after a series of operations fathered a daughter and now runs a ski school in his home town.

                              Goitschel later returned the medal to him, which was perhaps just as well for in a break-in at her house all her other medals were stolen.

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                              • #60
                                I must echo Valut-emort's comments: the ineptitude of Athletics SA is being underscrutinised here.

                                As noted above, the IAAF has discretely handled cases such as this recent times, presumably with the cooperation of the athletes' respective national federations.

                                Questions were being asked about Semenya's sexed status a good six months or more ago (when she started to really break through domestically), yet Athletics SA sat on their hands and let her progress through to continental and then World Champs level.

                                Surely Athletics SA could have discretely requested/demanded such medical tests back in March and thus sheltered a young athlete from this highly invasive, damaging and explosive experience.

                                This whole affair is truly tragic for Semenya and bitching and moaning about the IAAF's actions seems highly unwarranted and misdirected...

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