Monday, September 14, 2009

Real culprit in Caster Semenya affair is South Africa

news.com.au (Australian Newspaper) makes a good point about the whole Caster Semenya affair.

South Africans have been crying about the Australian media reporting that Caster Semenya's test shows she is a hermaphrodite.

I quote from there article:

"It's unfair, cruel, callous and potentially devastating for such a vulnerable young person, they say.

We couldn't agree more - but South Africa has only itself to blame.

South African sports officials have exposed this young woman to the world purely for their own gain.

They selected her for the national team when it was obvious to any rational observer thatthere might be serious questions about her eligibility. They paraded her before the world, in pursuit of sporting success, and now are flinging accusations of sexismand, predictably, racism.

South African athletics president Leonard Chuene has resigned from the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) council and a South African MP, Butana Komphela, has made a formal racism complaint to the United Nations.

How disingenuous. Race, of course, is the one issue on which some South Africans believe they hold the moral high-ground - a safe place to retreat when anyone questions their conduct on any issue whatsoever.
To play the race card in this case - especially against an IAAF that has a black African as president - is pure desperation.

Why did South Africa's sporting "leaders'' not stop Semenya's career as she rose through the ranks?

Even as a junior competitor, she was clearly extraordinary: faster, stronger and bigger than all the other girls. She was a completely different shape. Her voice was different. She had no breasts.

Sporting officials have a serious duty of care to the young, often naive, people they are entrusted to guide. They must help them make the right decisions and protect them from the tough world of international sport.

It's a lesson that some Australian sport officials could learn - like when Australia's swimmers were put into full body suits for the Beijing Olympics, with officials angrily rejecting suggestions that these would damage the sport in the long term.

Those fears have been proved correct and authorities are scrambling to undo the damage the suits have done to the careers of Thompson's proteges and the sport itself.

Semenya cannot be blamed for being encouraged to compete in entirely inappropriate circumstances. She's young, unworldly and suffers a traumatic, confusing condition.

She deserves compassion and understanding - and an apology from the officials who exposed her so shamelessly."

6 comments:

Why We Are White Refugees... said...

Hey SAExpats,

I can't find any reciprocal link to Why We Are White REfugees....

Am I missing it, under my nose somewhere; or would you prefer to not be too public about it?

Lara

Exzanian said...

Does anyone remember that embarrassing rag-tag bunch of athletes with their ill fitting tracksuits returning to SA after the Olympics? With only one silver medal to show for it?
SA athletics is responsible for dropping Semenya in the shtook here. In their desperation to get a medal in Berlin they pushed her into that position. And they had the race card ready to play. They knew it would come to that. Bastards felt nothing for her, nothing at all, she was just a pawn.

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