South African runner Semenya a hermaphrodite

South African runner Caster Semenya reportedly is a hermaphrodite — a person with male and female sexual characteristics.

South African runner Caster Semenya reportedly is a hermaphrodite — a person with male and female sexual characteristics.

Semenya, 18, won the women's 800 metres with ease at last month's world track and field championships in Berlin amid accusations that she is a man.

Several media outlets reported Thursday that gender tests conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations in July reveal she has internal testes — male sexual organs which produce testosterone — and no womb or ovaries.

Semenya also has three times more testosterone in her system than a normal female.

IAAF spokesman Nick Davies confirmed to The Associated Press in an e-mail that the test results had been received by track's governing body but won't be made public for "at least a few weeks."

"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," he wrote. "After that, depending on the results, we will meet privately with the athlete to discuss further action."

"I see it all as a joke," Semenya told You, a South African magazine in which she strikes a glamorous pose on the cover of the most recent issue.

"It doesn't upset me. God made me the way I am and I accept myself.

"I am who I am and I'm proud of myself. I don't want to talk about the tests — I'm not even thinking about them."

The tests incited outrage in South Africa which has embraced Semenya as a national heroine, regardless of her sexual ambiguity.

As such, the IAAF is reluctant to revoke her gold medal and/or disqualify her from future competitions.

"There certainly is evidence Semenya is a hermaphrodite," an anonymous source familiar with the IAAF inquiry told the Sydney Daily Telegraph. "The trouble is the IAAF now have the whole ANC and the whole of South Africa on their backs.

"Everything is going to have to be done absolutely by the book. No question of a challenge to our findings."

'It is complicated'

South African track coach Wilfred Daniels resigned in shame, admitting he failed Semenya for not telling her the IAAF planned to test her.

Once mandatory for female Olympians, gender testing was scrapped in 1999.

Final results on Semenya will be forthcoming in two weeks.

"There is all sorts of scans you do," the source was quoted in the Daily Telegraph. "This is why it is complicated.

"In the past, you used to do a gynecological exam, blood test, chromosome test, whatever. That is why they [results] were challenged because it is not quite so simple.

"What they do now is they do everything and then they can say, 'Look, not only has she got this, she has got that and the other.'

"The problem for us is to avoid it being an issue now which is very personal. Of the organs being a hermaphrodite, of not being a real woman, it is very dramatic."

With files from The Associated Press