AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, July 25 (UPI) -- DNA analysis has confirmed that a Dutch athlete who was banned from competition in 1950 because of doubts about her gender was a woman.
The finding comes decades too late to save Foekje Dillema's athletic career, Radio Netherlands reports. Dillema, who became a recluse after her suspension, died last year in Frisia, the region where she was born.
Dr. Kamlesh Madan, a geneticist at Leiden University, said that Dillema was "on balance" a woman, although genetically she was a "mosaic" of female and male chromosomes, with the female predominating. He said that mosaics are unusual and are born when male and female embryos merge in the uterus, a process that usually results in miscarriage.
But Madan said that Dillema should have been allowed to compete as a woman.
"She was definitely a woman and she should never have been expelled by the Athletics Union. No way," he said.
Competitors accused Dillema of being a man because she had unusually heavy leg muscles for a woman and had a masculine-looking face.