Athletics: Gender-question runner 'had high testosterone'

Preliminary medical tests on Caster Semenya, the 18-year-old South African runner at the centre of a gender row, have recorded elevated levels of the male hormone testosterone, Britain's Telegraph newspaper has revealed today.

The Telegraph is reporting that a source close to the investigation into the 800 metres gold medallist has confirmed that tests carried out before the start of the World Championships indicated that the runner had three times the normal female level of testosterone in her body.

Meanwhile, a big welcome is planned for Semenya's return home to South Africa later today.

South Africans have rallied behind the runner, who is under intense pressure after questions arose about her muscular build, deep voice — and spectacular performance in recent races.

After an airport rally when the team returns to Johannesburg, President Jacob Zuma plans to meet Semenya and two other South African medalists at the presidential guest house in Pretoria.

According to a statement from his office, Zuma wants "to congratulate them on their sterling performance in Berlin" at the world championships.

- AP, agencies

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