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Track And Field Could Be The Next Sport To Ban Trans Women From Competing Against Female Athletes

Rachel Lang

| Last updated 

Track And Field Could Be The Next Sport To Ban Trans Women From Competing Against Female Athletes

World Athletics have announced they will re-examine their own transgender policies in the wake of the global swimming ban.

The review comes after world swimming's governing body FINA ruled that any swimmers that have gone through male puberty would not be able to compete in women's events.

Rather than excluding transgender women from the sport altogether, the governing body will instead establish an 'open' category at competitions for those whose gender identity is different than their sex assigned at birth.

President of World Athletics Sebastian Coe said his organisation will review transgender regulations at the end of the year.

Coe praised FINA’s decision to ban trans athletes, telling the BBC that 'biology trumps gender'.

Credit: Sergii Kumer / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Sergii Kumer / Alamy Stock Photo

"We see an international federation asserting its primacy in setting rules, regulations and policies that are in the best interest of its sport," the former Olympian told the BBC.

"This is as it should be. We have always believed that biology trumps gender and we will continue to review our regulations in line with this. We will follow the science."

He added: “We continue to study, research and contribute to the growing body of evidence that testosterone is a key determinant in performance, and have scheduled a discussion on our regulations with our council at the end of the year."

World Athletics’ current rules cap testosterone levels at five nanomoles per litre for transgender athletes.

The same rule applies for those competing with differences in sex development in some women’s running events.

Coe said that the review is an effort to protect the integrity of women's sport.

"When push comes to shove, if it’s a judgment between inclusion and fairness, we will always fall down on the side of fairness – that for me is non-negotiable," he said, as per the BBC.

"We can’t have a generation of young girls thinking there is not a future for them in the sport. So we have a responsibility – maintaining the primacy and the integrity of female competition is absolutely vital."

Lia Thomas. Credit: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo
Lia Thomas. Credit: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo

Transgender women in sport has become a bone of contention for many after trans swimmer Lia Thomas won the national 500-yard freestyle event at the US collegiate championships in Atlanta.

The University of Pennsylvania swimmer became the first transgender athlete to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association first place title with a time of 4 minutes 33:24.

A total of 71 per cent of voters opted to ban trans athletes from competing in women's elite races at the FINA congress meeting, the sporting body revealed in a statement.

Featured Image Credit: Tony Tallec / Alamy Stock Photo. Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo.

Topics: LGBTQ, News, Sport

Rachel Lang
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