In an article detailing how some of Ms. Semenya’s people knew there might be something up about her gender, a CNN article blithely describes the history of gender testing:
The process of gender verification has undergone big changes since it was first introduced for international competition in the 1960s, the IAAF said.
The first mechanism involved “rather crude and perhaps humiliating physical examinations,” which soon gave way to mouth swabs to collect chromosomes.
There were too many uncertainties with mouth swabs, so the IAAF abandoned them in 1991 and the International Olympic Committee discontinued them in 2000.
A proper test has yet to be found, the IAAF said, and the current tests are considered a good interim solution.
Apparently it’s not at all a good interim solution, if an athlete that just won a race is now on suicide watch. Well done, assholes.