Gender Row Runner Semenya Placed On Suicide Watch
Monday, September 14, 2009 at 5:54:53 PM
South African runner Caster Semenya, who is at the center of a gender row, has been placed on suicide watch amid fears for her mental stability.
The Daily Star quoted officials as saying that psychologists are caring the 18-year-old round-the- clock after it was claimed tests had proved she was a hermaphrodite.
Leaked details of the probe by the International Association of Athletics Federations showed the 800m starlet had male and female sex organs - but no womb.
Lawmaker Butana Komphela, chair of South Africa's sports committee, was quoted as saying: "She is like a raped person. She is afraid of herself and does not want anyone near her. If she commits suicide, it will be on all our heads. The best we can do is protect her and look out for her during this trying time."
South African athletics officials confirmed Semenya is now receiving trauma counselling at the University of Pretoria.
Caster has not competed since the World Athletics Championships last month when the IAAF ordered gender tests on her amid claims she might be male.