World Athletics bans transgender women athletes from female events
World Athletics has voted to adopt a new policy that would not allow transgender women to compete with biological women in elite track and field events regardless of their testosterone level, given they had gone through male puberty.
The governing body said the decision was taken to “protect the future of the female category.”
Most sports have decided to allow trans women to compete in the biological women category since the Tokyo Olympics when New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard made history by becoming the first openly transgender athlete to compete at an Olympic Games.
But they must have lowered their testosterone to nanomoles per litre for 12 months. Meanwhile, new scientific research shows that trans women still have many advantages over biological women, even after lowering their testosterone levels.
The new development prompted the World Athletics to suggest 24-month timeline testosterone suppressing, but it received little support from member federations, citing their priority is fairness for female sport over inclusion.
Speaking after a meeting of the global track and field federation’s decision-making body, World Athletics president Seb Coe said yesterday that starting from March 31, no transgender athlete who had gone through male puberty would be allowed to compete in female world ranking competitions.
Mr Coe said the governing body consulted with stakeholders, including 40 national federations, the International Olympic Committee and trans groups before taking the decision.
“We entered into a consultation some months ago because we wanted to provoke debate,” he said. “It was really important that we heard from all our stakeholders, including the athletes, the coaches and member federations. And my goodness, we heard from them.”
Mr Coe added, “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 believe the integrity of the female category in athletics is paramount.”
The World Athletics decision came after World Rugby, FINA, swimming’s world governing body and Rugby Football League agreed to ban transgender women from competing in the biological women categories.