Rafal Wegiel, the owner of Fashion Calgary, was forced to deleted tweets he had posted on his company’s account which he said he hoped would spark a conversation.
The tweets questioned the gender of Semenya and Wambui, who are both gearing up to participate in the 800m final taking place at 2.15am on Sunday SA time. Semenya qualified in her heat on Wednesday in 1:58.15, taking first place for the final while Wambui qualified in first place in her heat as well on Thursday with a time of 1:59.21.
He later issued an apology.
We would like to apologize everyone who was offended by our post.The post is deleted and we'll make responsible the person who post it.
— Fashion Calgary (@FashionCalgary) August 19, 2016
On why he had tweeted from the company account, Wegiel said it had more followers.
“The personal account we keep mostly for ourselves, for our personal stuff. Fashion Calgary, I found, is more public, so we can raise certain questions, reach more people.
“I didn’t know it was going to turn that way and I didn’t know people were going to take this whole thing in such an offensive way,” he added.
@FashionCalgary both those women are breaking world records and you want to focus on assumptions surrounding their gender. Unbelievable.
— lovejones (@najibayasmina) August 19, 2016
— DGSM (@PinkRobeYYC) August 19, 2016
Both women have had to face international scrutiny regarding their gender and for having naturally high amounts of testosterone despite a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport clearing them to run.
The Court overruled a decision by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) limiting the amount of naturally occurring functional testosterone for female athletes.
This cleared Semenya and any woman having high amounts of testosterone to compete professionally.