Transgender Women Banned from Female Athletics: "Fairness Above Inclusion"
Regardless of their testosterone levels, transgender women will no longer be permitted to participate in female track and field events, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said on Thursday, citing fairness above inclusivity.
No transgender athlete who has experienced male puberty will be allowed to participate in female global ranking tournaments starting on March 31, according to Coe.
Coe said that World Athletics has engaged with stakeholders over the subject of transgender athletes, including 40 national federations, the International Olympic Committee, and trans groups, following a meeting of the global track and field federation's decision-making body.
According to the vast majority of persons surveyed, transgender athletes shouldn't compete in the female division, he added.
Many people think there isn't enough proof that trans women don't still have an advantage over biological women, and they want further proof that any physical advantages have been reduced before they'll even entertain the possibility of including trans people in the category of women.
The decision we made, he said, "was, in my opinion, in the greatest interests of our sport.
NOT EVER SAYING "NO"
A working committee led by a transgender person, he added, will be established to keep an eye on scientific advancements.
Coe said, "We're not going to keep saying no.
"Decisions are never easy when competing demands and rights of various groups must be balanced, but we continue to hold the belief that maintaining justice for female athletes must come first.
"The research around physical performance and the masculine advantage, which will unavoidably expand over the next years, will serve as our guidance in this. We will reevaluate our stance in light of new information, but we are certain that the integrity of the female athletic division comes first.
The alternative that was provided to stakeholders requires transgender athletes to keep their testosterone levels below 2.5 nmol/L (nanomoles per litre of blood) for 24 months in order to be allowed to participate internationally in the female category, according to a statement from World Athletics.
"As of right now, there are no transgender athletes participating internationally in sports, thus there is no proof that their presence will affect how fairly women compete in athletics.
In light of these facts, the Council chose to put inclusivity ahead of fairness and the integrity of the female competition.
The decision of World Athletics follows that of FINA, the international governing body of swimming, which has prohibited transgender swimmers who had male puberty from participating in elite women's events.
The first international sports body to declare transsexual males to females ineligible for participation in women's elite and international competition was World Rugby in 2020.
DSD RULES ARE STRIPPED
The rules governing athletes designated as DSD, or having "differences of sexual development," have also been modified by World Athletics.
Caster Semenya of South Africa, a two-time Olympic 800m winner, is the most well-known DSD athlete.
The new rules require DSD competitors to lower their blood testosterone levels to below 2.5 nanomoles per liter, down from the existing requirement of five, and to maintain this level for two years, as opposed to only one as is the case now, in order to participate in the female division.
In women, testosterone levels typically range from 0.5 to 2.4 nmol/l.
Moreover, World Athletics eliminated the concept of limited events for DSD athletes, which means that all events are now governed by rules rather than only the 400m–1 mile ones that were previously watched.