Gender tests on South Africa's 800m world champion Caster Semenya have revealed that she has an inter gender condition, BBC Sport understands.
The 18-year-old was asked to take the tests following her rapid rise to prominence in 2009 and just hours before she won the title in Berlin. The IAAF has the results but wants them examined before speaking to Semenya. BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar said: "It's likely that she has some hermaphroditic or inter-gender condition."
An Australian newspaper has claimed that Semenya is a hermaphrodite - someone who has some or all of the primary sex characteristics of both genders. The reports have sparked an angry reaction in South Africa, with one senior MP calling for the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) to be sued over the way Semenya has been treated. "Someone is guilty of leaking her confidential medical information to Australian newspapers," National Assembly's sports committee chairman Butana Komphela told the local Star newspaper. But the IAAF's Nick Davies said: "The statements should be treated with caution as they are not official statements by the IAAF.
"We have received the results from Germany, but they now need to be examined by a group of experts and we will not be in a position to speak to the athlete about them for at least a few weeks. "After that, depending on the results, we will meet privately with the athlete to discuss further action." The IAAF has confirmed they will not comment further on Semenya until after the IAAF council meeting in Monaco on 20-21 November. Farquhar added: "We already know that she has testosterone levels that are three times higher than those normally expected in a female. "It's a serious issue and the athlete has to be told the implications.
"There are three possible outcomes from the expert's discussions: that the condition does not give her a competitive advantage. "The condition gives her a competitive advantage, which cannot be treated, or most likely, the condition can be treated in some way if she consents to it, and in time she can return to competition. "The IAAF have to weigh the interest of the athlete, an apparently innocent victim in this, with their responsibility to ensure fair competition."
Semenya won the 800m title in Berlin in August in the fastest time of the year, one minute, 55.45 seconds, 2.5 seconds ahead of Kenya's 2007 champion Janeth Jepkosgei.