Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tennis Controversy: Female Player (with Male Past)

The Aol Health website has featured an Article on Sarah Gronert. It states that,"Sarah Gronert, a 22-year-old tennis pro from Germany who was born with both male and female genitalia, has chosen to compete against women, and that has some in the tennis community up in arms. "There is no girl who can hit serves like that, not even Venus Williams," says the coach of an opponent Gronert recently beat. The coach, Schlomo Tzoref, also claims, "This is not a woman, it's a man." Is Tzoref just a disgruntled coach, trying to stir up controversy, or is there any validity to his claim? What makes a man a man, and what makes a woman a woman -- and how does being either affect one's ability to win?"

"It sounds like this person, from a medical standpoint, would have an intersex condition, where you have an identifiable genetic hormonal problem," says Jack Turko, M.D., endocrinologist at the Department of Endocrinology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and director of Dartmouth College's Health Services Center. "If she had both male and female genitalia, that's describing a hermaphrodite -- which is a rare condition. More likely her genitalia didn't look male and didn't look female. Without knowing what the person had and without knowing what operations the person had," it is hard to say how she would be affected and what advantage she would have, if any."

"Turko explains that Gronert may have had one of about 20 or 30 different interesex conditions, each of which may have different levels of testosterone and require different procedures."

To the anonymous person who shared the link to this article; THANK YOU!

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