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‘Closing the door’ on trans people: World Athletics criticised over decision to exclude trans women from female events

World Athletics decided to ban transgender women from male-to-female events.

Lord Coe, the president of the body, stated that “decisive actions” were taken to “protect our sport’s female category”.

Lord Coe stated at a Monaco news conference: “The council has decided to exclude male-to female transgender athletes who have gone through male puberty from the female world ranking competitions starting 31 March.

“World Athletics announced in January that it was working with member federations to modify the rules for transgender women participating in female competitions.


“The problem is complex as sports attempt to balance inclusivity with fairness.

Mark Austin of Sky News said that Lord Coe made the statement in the “best interests of our sport.”

“It was a decision that was based on an extremely important and fundamental principle. That is, as an International Federation with a vibrant female component in our sport, it was absolutely crucial that we protected that category.”

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He said that transgender athletes competing at elite levels would “compromise integrity of female competition”.

Sky News asked Lord Coe how he would respond to a transgender athlete claiming the decision was unfair. He said: “We don’t have any transgender athletes competing in international competition. That day may come.”

“But until the science behind this is better understood, which we don’t, we must rely on a fundamental principle. That is, that we are charged with the responsibility to defend the female category. And that is exactly what we did.”

Analyse: Transgender people will feel excluded.

Rob Harris

Sports correspondent


Remember, above all, the people most affected by a sporting decision.

People who have suffered pain and suffering because of their gender identity.

Transgender people are often marginalized and discriminated against. They are now being discriminated against on track for athletics to make sure they don’t have an advantage.

World Athletics banned male-to-female transgender competitors from female events at world ranking events. This was an unexpected landmark ruling.

In the end, the ruling council of the governing body decided to “prioritise fairness & the integrity of female competition before including”.

The fact that World Athletics prohibits transgender athletes from competing in international competitions does not appear to have any direct impact on anyone.

However, trans people will feel excluded.

According to the World Athletics consultation, there was little support for eligibility requirements that required testosterone levels to be below a certain threshold.

Female-born athletes will continue to participate in women’s sports, which encourages fair competition.

It is possible that those who have experienced male puberty may still enjoy physical benefits.

This decision is reminiscent of rugby union, where safety was an important factor in the sport.

Olympic swimmer Sharron D. Davies praised the decision and tweeted that it should be extended to include those who compete at school.

Stonewall, a LGBT campaign group, described the decision as “disappointing” and criticised World Athletics’ “closing of the door” to trans athletes competing at international levels.

Lord Coe stated that the decision could be challenged and wasn’t “written in stone”, but World Athletics promised to “vigorously defend” its position.

He had earlier stated that a taskforce “working group” will be formed to conduct further research on transgender eligibility guidelines. This includes an independent chair and transgender athletes.

It will “consult specifically with transgender athletes in order to solicit views on competing in athleisure” in the hopes of reviewing and possibly commissioning further research.

Continue reading:

Rugby league bans transgender females from international competition

British Triathlon Events: Transgender women and men will compete in a new category called “Open”

Lord Coe stated that the decision to exclude transgender female athletes was taken after consultation with many stakeholders, including 40 member federations, athletes, coaches and community groups, including UN experts, the International Olympic Committee, Para Athletics and UN experts.

He stated, “The majority of those consulted said that transgender athletes shouldn’t be competing in the female category.”

Many believe that there is not enough evidence to prove that trans women aren’t better than biological women. They want more evidence to show that physical advantages have been overcome before considering the possibility of being included in the female category.

Image: Two-time Olympic 800m champion Caster Selenya is one of the DSD athletes. Pic: AP

Differences between sex development and athletes

The new rules will also affect athletes with differences in sexual development (DSD). This is a rare condition that involves genes, hormones, and reproductive organs. It means that a person’s sex behavior may be different from others.

According to the NHS website, some people prefer the term “intersex” for both young and old.

DSD is used by Caster Semenya, the Olympic 800m champion; Christine Mboma, 2020 200m Olympic silver medallist; and Francine Niyonsaba who was second to Semenya at the 2016 Olympics 800m race.

Lord Coe stated that the maximum plasma testosterone allowed for DSD athletes would be reduced by half.

Image: Christine Mboma, 200m Olympic silver medallist, could also be affected. Pic: AP

British Athletics had called for Transgender Women to Compete with Men in an “Open Category” in Feb.

According to the governing body, the “open” category will replace the existing male category. It also demands a law change in order to protect women’s events for females born at birth.

FINA, the world swimming governing body, voted to effectively ban transgender swimmers from participating in women’s elite races and explore the possibility of creating an “open” category.


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