Two female athletes have come out to claim that IAAF Chief Medical Officer Stephane Bermon coerced them into surgeries which killed their careers.
According to a documentary by ARD, a German broadcaster, the two elite athletes with differences in sex development (DSD) were to undergo gonadectomy – the removal of internal testes, which caused the increased testosterone production in their bodies, but they suspect that a wrong treatment was administered to them.
Annet Negesa, 27, a former champion middle-distance runner for Uganda, who was touted as a candidate for the 800 metres women’s final before London 2012 Olympics, says she woke up with wounds after the ‘medication’ on the fateful day- an incident which has kept her out of the game to-date.
“They told me it was kind of an injection; they were pulling out my testosterone. But that’s not what they did. When I woke up in the morning, I had wounds,” Negesa said.
A second elite athlete, whose name was withheld by the programme, claims doctors said she had no other option than undergoing the surgery in order to compete.
“I had no choice. I have often thought of killing myself. They stole my life, my existence. Just like that, they took away my dream. I wish that I had died in her hands at that time because she would then have been held accountable and punished,” she said.
But IAAF has responded to the claims that Bermon was not present at the alleged consultation and that the body did not offer any recommendation regarding the surgery.
“The IAAF encourages relevant athletes to seek independent, medical advice and will, if requested, provide athletes with information on independent experts and reference centre specialists. The IAAF has never recommended surgery to any athletes affected by its regulations, nor paid for any of their treatment. It has in some cases paid for the investigation of the case.
“Dr Bermon was not present when the athlete interviewed underwent surgery in Uganda and did not recommend that course of action to her,” a senior spokeswoman told Daily Telegraph.