Norwalk, Conn. (API) Dan Sparks, a local accountant, is appealing to the International Association of Athletics Federations to determine through a battery of tests, blood work, cheek swabs, and other intrusive physical examinations by doctors if his new girlfriend Carlotta Jones is really female. "We've gotten to know each other a little better in the last few weeks at work," says Sparks, "But Carlotta has always struck me as a bit masculine. She's got a very powerful handshake, and last week she beat me in the 440 meter. I just don't know if I should be putting her in the girlfriend category or maybe if 'buddy' is a better description."
Sparks met Jones while both were going over the 2006 tax records for a defunct de-icing salt company. He liked the way she seemed to know everything about the '69 Mets, and laughed heartily when she called this year's Mets lineup "batters out of hell."
"I was thinking to myself, 'Now THIS is girlfriend material.' But then I really started to think that it might be too good to be true. Now I'm really starting to think that she was."
Among other suspicions he has about Jones are her massive shoulders; her 6 foot 2 inch height; her low, smokey voice; her enjoyment of Spike TV; her ability to beat Sparks at raquetball; and her insatiable love of "Celebrity Sleuth" magazine.
Several people have confirmed for Sparks that his new girlfriend has a vagina, but it has still given him pause.
"There are just so many factors that make up male and female these days. I mean, if some female athletes are disqualified for having Y chromosomes, shouldn't I be able to get a ruling?"
Doctors say that Jones could conceivably be suffering from a number of conditions including hermaphroditism, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, progestin-induced virilization.
"Or maybe she's just kind of dikey," said Dr. Wilhemina Phillips, an endocrinologist at NYU.
Among the tests Jones must undergo are genetic counseling and interviews by a gynecologist, an endocrinologist and an internist.
Jones' father has weighed in as well.
"I find this investigation a little silly," said the senior Jones. "I'm almost 80% certain my daughter is a woman."
"Just look at her," said Sarah Carvel, another woman in the office who dated Sparks for a year and who is said to still be pining for him. "Carlotta is obviously not a woman. Somebody's got to do something. I think Dan is just confused. He'll come around."
Jones herself, though, was quite adamant.
"I'm a woman, god damn it!" she said. "I wish everybody would stop asking me this question. I don't see why I've got to answer to the IAAF. I was just having a fling."