If you don't know that name, Semenya is a South African track star and college student who was raised as a female and has always competed as such.
Between this year and last, she has beaten opponents by such wide margins on the international track scene that competitors began grumbling could not have been born a woman, because she is too muscular, runs like a man, and is just too dominant.
If true, that rumor "probably" would disqualify Semenya from international competition, and negate her prior victories.
After Semenya underwent forced gender testing a few weeks ago, imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations, some of the results allegedly leaked a few days ago: Allegedly, Semenya has male and female organs, and no uterus. And because of the presence of internal male genitals, Semenya apparently has a testosterone level three times higher than the women she races against. Theoretically, the testosterone makes her stronger, thus faster. So she does have an advantage.
I guess doctors call her scenario "intersex" these days, rather than hermaphrodite, because the latter suggests an individual has two fully functional sets genitalia.
My snap judgment when I first heard about Semenya a month or so ago was that if it was found out the runner was a man, or at least not all woman, then she should be immediately disqualified 'cause international track and field competition has been tarnished enough over the years by cheaters.
But then I got Semenya's whole story: She didn't cheat. She may not be able to bear children, but for the absence of external male parts, she was raised as a girl, treated as a girl, told she was a girl, assumed by her parents to be all girl, because doctors at her birth likely made a visual judgment of her gender.
So, that makes Semenya.......?
She's a good runner. Should she be banned from female competiton, because she's not "all woman," as most of us laypeople define gender? Should she be compelled to compete with men, because she's not "all woman?" That wouldn't work though, 'cause she's not "all man" either. Should the women she races against be forced to run uphill, so to speak, 'cause of Semenya's testosterone advantage? Not like it's their fault her gender has been confused by the adults around her all her life.
One sports ethicist opined that given how she's been raised and her unique circumstances, and the fact that this ship has already sailed, the IAAF has no choice but to allow Semenya to continue competing as a woman.
I feel terrible for Semenya. And I genuinely have no strong opinion on how her competitive situation should be resolved.
What do you think?
PS. Follow me: http://twitter.com/jamesburnett.