Radcliffe: Caster win wouldn't be sport

2016-07-22 10:11

Cape Town - Paula Radcliffe, the marathon world record holder, has questioned the merits of Caster Semenya's expected dominance in the 800m at next month's 2016 Olympics in Rio. 

Semenya is the overwhelming favourite to pick up gold, but Radcliffe believes the 25-year-old's genetic make-up will cast a shadow over her victory. 

In 2009, following her victory at the IAAF World Championships, Semenya underwent a gender test. 

In 2010 she was cleared to compete again. 

The result of the gender test has never been officially released, and the IAAF have cleared Semenya to compete, yet Radcliffe has made her own mind up and voiced her concerns in an interview with BBC Radio

"When we talk about it in terms of (to) fully expect no other result than Caster Semenya to win that 800m then it's no longer sport and it's no longer an open race," said Radcliffe.

"Obviously there is an issue and there is an issue that needs to be understood a lot better.

"What concerns me ... we've seen the lengths countries like Russia will go to to have major success on the world stage and on the Olympic stage.

"I think what worries me is that we know that there are certain communities where the condition of intersex and hyperandrogenism* is more prevalent. We don't want to get to a situation where people are actively going to those communities to seek out girls who look like they're going to go out and perform and run fast and then to 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."

*Hyperandrogenism is a medical condition characterised by excessive levels of androgens in the body and the associated effects of these excessive levels of androgens.

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