Caster Semenya (Getty Images)
London - Marathon world-record holder Paula Radcliffe said on Friday that
comments she made concerning Caster Semenya have been misrepresented
after stating in a radio interview that the South African's current
dominance in the 800m is "no longer sport."
her remarks on Semenya being so dominant that she was expected to win
the Olympic title next month were part of a longer live debate she took
part in on the issue of hyperandrogenism in sport. Hyperandrogenism is a
condition where a woman has much higher levels of testosterone than
Semenya was ordered to undergo gender tests when she won
the world title in 2009, and wasn't allowed to compete for 11 months
after the tests.
The IAAF was forced to drop rules that limited
testosterone levels in female athletes last year after they were
challenged by another runner at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
season, Semenya has been clearly dominant. Last week, Semenya ran a
personal best and her fastest time since the 2009 world championships
fear that when we talk about it in terms of fully expect no other
result than Caster Semenya to win that 800m (at the Olympics),
then it's no longer sport and it's no longer an open race," Radcliffe
said in audio clips from the debate published by the BBC.
In the interview, Radcliffe also appeared to suggest hyperandrogenism could become similar to organised doping.
mean, we've seen the lengths that countries like Russia will go to to
have major success on the world stage, on the Olympic stage. I think
what worries me is we know that there are certain communities where the
condition of intersex, of hyperandrogenism, is more prevalent,"
"We don't want to get to the situation where
people are actively going to those communities to seek out girls who
look like they're going to be able to go out and perform, and to run
fast, and then take them away and train them. It becomes a manipulated
situation where they are being manipulated and the ethics of fair sport
and fair play are being manipulated."
The clips from the radio
show on Thursday appeared to have been edited, and in her statement on
Friday, Radcliffe said: "...unless you listen to the entire debate,
snippets taken and printed will entirely misrepresent what was said.
tried to get across how difficult and complicated the situation is and
how finding a solution where nobody gets hurt is pretty much
impossible," Radcliffe said.
Last year, the IAAF was forced to
suspend the rules it had to control some female athletes' testosterone
levels after they were challenged at the Court of Arbitration for Sport
by another runner, India's Dutee Chand.
The IAAF said high
testosterone levels give some female athletes an unfair advantage, but
Chand challenged that assertion, and the IAAF was told to do more
research to show how much advantage testosterone gives. In Chand's case,
Radcliffe testified in support of the IAAF and the rules limiting
testosterone. She said she and other top athletes felt women with
hyperandrogenism had an unfair advantage in competition.
career has been controversial since she emerged as an unknown
18-year-old and easily beat the field to win the world championships
seven years ago.
Citing medical confidentiality, the IAAF has never released results of the tests performed on Semenya or details of her case.