Caster Semenya’s parents: “Our child is a girl,we have never doubted her gender”

South-African Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya identifies as a woman and competes as a woman. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the 25-year-old star athlete ran the 800-metre race in a record time of 1.55.28 and received the gold medal. At the age of 18, Caster won a gold medal in Berlin with a time of 1.55.45. Following this Berlin record, the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) subjected her to a series of unpleasant investigations. The sport’s governing body decided she had too much testosterone and set an upper limit on women competitors (of 10n.mol/L); so she underwent some sort of intervention to lower her levels. The consequence of this was that she ran more slowly.




Caster Semenya & her parents on her 21st birthday
Caster Semenya & her parents on her 21st birthday



An appeal was then lodged with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and the IAAF’s decision was later overthrown. Caster Semenya’s mother Dorcus however has no doubt over her child’s gender. Sometime back, she spoke to The Guardian where she said, “I am not even worried about that (claims she is a male) because I know who and what my child is. Mokgadi Caster is a girl and no one can change that. If you go (to) my home village and ask any of my neighbours, they would tell you that Mokgadi is a girl. They know because they helped raise her. People can say whatever they like but the truth will remain, which is that my child is a girl”. “She is my little girl. I raised her and I have never doubted her gender. She is a woman and I can repeat that a million times,” her father Jacob Semenya had previously told South African paper Sowetan.

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