Laraine Lane, a former Athletics South Africa (ASA) board member, who was suspended by Sascoc for her part in the mishandling of the Caster Semenya saga in 2008, delivered a bombshell testimony on the opening day of the Minister Inquiry into Sascoc’s governing matters.
Among other things, Lane claims that Semenya did not sign
Lane also said that it was Semenya’s decision to run at the World Championships in Berlin back in 2009, despite Dr Harold Adams telling her that he would “bandage part of her body” so that she could “pretend to be injured and withdraw”.
“She was told she would run. She told Madiba, whom she had a meeting with, she was going to win a medal for him,” Lane said.
Semenya was thrown into the spotlight as a young 18-year old after winning gold in the 800m at the World Championships. What followed as gross mismanagement and humiliation of an innocent young athlete.
Sascoc later suspended then ASA boss Leonard Chuene and four other staff members, including Lane, in November 2009.
“Caster had to run in Berlin. If she hadn’t she would have lost her sponsorship and scholarship and she might have had to return to a village in Limpopo. She would not have had access to the life she has had since then,” Lane said.
After Semenya won gold, local media reported that ASA had authorised sex tests prior to the World Championships and Lane was present to offer Semenya counselling. But Lane said no counselling was possible because the athlete was not aware what the tests she was sent for related to.
“The most important thing was when I got to her residence in Pretoria to see what the situation
“Anyone doing anything like gender testing has got to sign informed consent to the testing. She had no idea what was going to happen to her. She told me she was going to have drug tests and therefore no counselling could possibly take place.”
“I advised Dr Adams of the test, he told me that he will handle it. when I spoke to the team on their return, they told me that he never told her about any of the implications of the tests.”
Lane, who has been locked in several legal battles with Sascoc, had nothing but praise for Semenya’s handling of the issue.
“I absolutely admire her talent and her running. But nobody has given her credit for her unbelievable resilience and her amazing personality that as an 18-year old, she could go out and be pilloried by the IAAF,” Lane said.
Lane then took aim at the IAAF, accusing the sport’s governing body of treating “drug cheats” with more nuance.
“The IAAF afford drug cheats the most incredible respect and confidentiality.
She said that Sascoc later became complicit in the mistreatment of Semenya because it was them who told her she could not compete while sex testing was taking place.
“The IAAF said Semenya could run in the interim, Sascoc stopped her from running,” Lane said.
Lane also raised concerns about the manner in which her case was handled. She claims her communication to Sascoc was “ignored”.
“I never got one response from Gideon Sam or Sascoc after being advised in 2010 that I would face
She said she was left in a “state of limbo” being told that she could not stand for office, coach or even communicate with athletes.
Now-sacked Sascoc CEO, Tubby Reddy, had previously said Lane was never banned by the Olympic body, stating it had no jurisdiction to prevent her from participating in athletics in her personal capacity, as per a report in The Citizen.
She also raised concerns over possible conflict of interest involving Sascoc President Gideon Sam and other Sascoc board members who also sat on the Lotto Distribution board.
The hearing continues. DM
Photo: South Africa’s Caster Semenya competing in the women’s 800m heats at the London 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, Britain, 10 August 2017. EPA/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT
Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?
Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.
Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.
Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.
*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.
Magenta has no physical wavelength. It thus does not "exist" strictly speaking. Rather our brains are telling us that we are seeing "not green".