Caster Semenya Exploitation: The Most Idiotic Sports Crime of Our Time

Bryan GoldbergSenior Writer ISeptember 19, 2009

We've done it!

After over 15 years of waiting, the human race has finally outdone itself in the category of Idiotic Sports Crime.

We all remember when — in January, 1994 — figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was ruthlessly beaten during the United States Figure Skating Championship in Detroit. It was idiotic, not just because of the inhumanity, but also because it was the most poorly planned assault in American history. The time and place of the attack, the identity of the assailant, the proximity to the Olympics. There was nothing less than a 100 percent chance that the attackers would be caught and held accountable for their actions.

But they did it anyhow.

It was perhaps the most atrocious and despicable act of sportsmanship that any of us had ever seen.

Until now.

News is now breaking that there is indisputable evidence linking the official national sports agency, Athletics South Africa, to knowledge of Caster Semenya's biological nature. They knew she had testicles, and they knew it before she traveled to Berlin to compete.

Let me make it clear up front. This is not Caster's fault at all. But it represents a staggering attempt by a group of leaders to not only cheat, but to try and fool the rest of the known world into believing their lie. The fact that they went ahead and humiliated a poor teenager in the process ensures that every member of that agency is sullied by this despicable crime.

So why does this stunning incident rival the Nancy Kerrigan fiasco?

Well, it's quite simple.

Just like with the Kerrigan/Harding attack, with the Caster Semenya crime the offenders were 100 percent certain to get caught. 100 percent. The South African officials must have lived on a different planet if they thought that there was any chance of duping the entire world.

And, yet, unlike with Tonya Harding's trashy friends, this crime was committed by people who were supposedly educated and capable. This is a country that is due to host sport's most high-profile event, The FIFA World Cup, in just nine months. And this is the sort of bone-headed decision making that we are to expect? They'll be lucky if the IAAF does not strip them of their membership and status as an official sporting organization.

For those of us with even a shred of human decency, this story is nothing short of heartbreaking. Not since Nancy Kerrigan's beating, or Monica Seles' stabbing a year earlier, has something so atrocious happened.

But the difference is that Nancy Kerrigan's injuries healed, and she won an Olympic medal. Monica Seles lost her career momentum, but she eventually made it back onto the court, and still went on to win an Australian Open.

Caster Semenya is injured for life.

Her wounds may be psychological rather than physical, but that doesn't make it less painful. No person is capable of overcoming that sort of public invasion into their privacy. Especially not a teenager who has been completely exploited.

Athletics South Africa has almost undoubtedly committed the worst sports crime in modern history. They have victimized a teenager for their own gain, and they have done so with a level of sloppiness that borders on utter insanity.

This one is a heart-breaker.