The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) has condemned the “unwarranted speculation by the international media on the sexual orientation” of South African gold medallist athlete Caster Semenya.

“As the ANCWL we view the debate on Caster’s gender as an attack to humiliate and demoralise her since she is expected to win a gold medal in the 2016 Olympic games [in Rio], ANCWL secretary general Meokgo Matuba said on Saturday.

“The ANCWL condemns the motives of those who continually perpetrate a view that an African woman has no capacity to excel in sports,” she said.

Semenya’s eligibility to compete against other female athletes was “not a debatable matter as she was born a girl and no amount of public humiliation could change her gender”. The league respected and accepted the decision of the Court of Arbitration (CAS) to rule out the enforcement of testosterone limits on runners, such as Semenya.

The courts had proven that there was insufficient evidence to prove that women athletes with higher testosterone levels had an edge over other women athletes. This kind of scrutiny was inhumane and a violation of Semenya’s human rights.

“As the ANCWL we are fully behind Caster Semenya. She will rise above the speculation and bring a gold medal back [to] our shores. The ANC Women’s League calls on all South Africans to rally behind Semenya and condemn all speculation on her gender,” Matuba said.

– African News Agency

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