Recently the World Athletics Council announced it would not allow transgender athletes to compete against females in World Rankings competitions. The measure will be in effect next week, where “male to female” transgender athletes won’t be able to compete against their female counterparts.
The World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said, “Decisions are always difficult when they involve conflicting needs and rights between different groups, but we continue to take the view that we must maintain fairness for female athletes above all other considerations. We will be guided in this by the science around physical performance and male advantage which will inevitably develop over the coming years. As more evidence becomes available, we will review our position, but we believe the integrity of the female category in athletics is paramount.”
The announcement states:
In regard to transgender athletes, the Council has agreed to exclude male-to-female transgender athletes who have been through male puberty from female World Rankings competition from 31 March 2023.
World Athletics conducted a consultation period with various stakeholders in the first two months of this year, including Member Federations, the Global Athletics Coaches Academy and Athletes’ Commission, the IOC as well as representative transgender and human rights groups.
It became apparent that there was little support within the sport for the option that was first presented to stakeholders, which required transgender athletes to maintain their testosterone levels below 2.5nmol/L for 24 months to be eligible to compete internationally in the female category.
In terms of DSD regulations, World Athletics has more than ten years of research and evidence of the physical advantages that these athletes bring to the female category.
However, there are currently no transgender athletes competing internationally in athletics and consequently no athletics-specific evidence of the impact these athletes would have on the fairness of female competition in athletics.
In these circumstances, the Council decided to prioritise fairness and the integrity of the female competition before inclusion.
This ban from the World Athletics Council follows a similar ban last year in the sport of swimming. World Aquatics, formerly known as FINA, issued a ban in June 2022 prohibiting some biological males from competing in women’s swimming competitions.
“We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions,” FINA’s president, Husain Al-Musallam, said in a statement. The policy states transgender athletes must prove that “they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 or before age 12, whichever is later.” The policy also states, “Without eligibility standards based on biological sex or sex-linked traits, we are very unlikely to see biological females in finals, on podiums, or in championship positions; and in sports and events involving collisions and projectiles, biological female athletes would be at greater risk of injury.”
It goes without saying these policies have the woke left outraged. However, these policy moves by governing sports bodies are a step in the direction of protecting fairness in women’s sports.
"*" indicates required fields