Friday, September 11, 2009

I agree with Winne Mandela (sort of)

Sheesh. What's the world coming to? I can't help but agree with Winnie Mandela, who says that gold medalist Caster Semenya is a victim in all this arguing over whether she should have been allowed to compete in the women's 800m race at last month's World Championships.

Mandela says "She did not make herself. God decided to make her that way and that can't be held against her."

True. It can't be held against her. This is so far removed from a doping scandal, where cheating athletes have tried all sorts of excuses. "Ginseng tea," anyone? I hope they let her keep her gold medal.

However, if these reports are true there's no way that Semenya can be allowed to compete against women again. The advantage she had this summer will only increase as 17 turns to 18 turns to 19 and so on. Semenya will soon be winning by half a lap. Nope, there'll be no more women's races for Semenya.

While I understand her mother's desire to protect her daughter now, she knew and has known about these issues since her baby was born. Perhaps she was too naive to realize that the truth would be public knowledge some day, I don't know. I feel bad for the family because I think they were probably lying to themselves and misled by those who should have known better – like the Athletics authorities in South Africa.

I cannot for the life of me understand what those people were thinking. They surely knew this would be an issue and they must also have been aware that it could be pretty rough for a teenager to go through such scrutiny. I hold them responsible for this mess and for the troubles that Semenya now finds herself in.