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A transgender cyclist has spoken out after being banned from a tournament.
Emily Bridges was hoping to compete in the British National Omnium Championships today (2 April), alongside some of the stars of the sport.
However, the 21-year-old has been told by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that she will not be allowed to take part due to her no longer being deemed eligible.
She is now demanding answers, saying it was her dream to compete as a woman, something she still has not been able to do as yet.
In a post to social media, Emily said: "Despite the public announcement, I still have little clarity around their finding of my ineligibility under their regulations.
"I am an athlete, and I just want to race competitively again, within the Regulations set by British Cycling and UCI after careful consideration of the research around transgender athletes.
"No one should have to choose between being who they are, and participating in the sport that they love."
Emily said she feels as if she has been 'relentlessly harassed and demonised' by the media, who have not given a thought to the impact their reports may have on her.
"They attack anything that isn’t the norm and print whatever is most likely to result in the highest engagement for their articles, and bring in advertising," she went on.
"This is without care for the wellbeing of individuals or marginalised groups, and others are left to pick up the pieces due to their actions.
"My privacy has been totally violated over speculation around my eligibility and fairness to compete."
According to British Cycling's rules, transgender riders' testosterone levels must fall below five nanomoles per litre for a 12-month period prior to competing.
However, despite having proved this to be the case, Emily says she is still not being allowed to race at the event.
She said: "I am in contact with British Cycling and UCI requesting clarity around my alleged ineligibility, and I hope they they will consider their decision in line with the regulations.
"Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this, your messages have meant the world this past 10 days."
Following news of Emily's ban from the event, British Cycling said it was liaising with her family.
A spokesperson said: "We acknowledge the decision of the UCI with regards to Emily's participation, however we fully recognise her disappointment with today's decision.
"Transgender and non-binary inclusion is bigger than one race and one athlete – it is a challenge for all elite sports.
"We believe all participants within our sport deserve more clarity and understanding around participation in elite competitions and we will continue to work with the UCI on both Emily's case and the wider situation with regards to this issue."
LADbible has contacted British Cycling and the UCI for a comment.
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