18-year old Castor Semenya of South Africa’s gender identity dispute is reaching a fever pitch. A test taken before her epic win in Berlin shows that the track star’s testosterone levels were three times higher than normally expected in a woman. The elevated levels could point to performance enhancing drugs or as expected a gender identity issue. Officials for the International Association of Athletics Federations raised eyebrows at Semenya’s sudden brash of good luck after she broke her own personal record in July and became the newly crowned African junior champion. The speculation was capped off when she dusted her competition in Berlin’s IAAF World Champions by a startling 2.45 seconds to win the women’s 800 meter finals.
Despite the doubts of officials, Semenya’s family members and members of her South African community insist that she is indeed a woman. She received a heroine’s welcome Tuesday when she returned to Johannesburg and support from various leaders. The ex-wife of President Nelson Mandela vehemently defended Semenya saying, “To the world out there who conducted those pseudo-tests, they can stuff their insult. This is our little girl and nobody is going to perform any tests on her.”