Only following the rules

Another woman speaks up:

The double Olympic champion Katie Archibald has sharply criticised the transgender policies of the International Olympic Committee and other sports bodies – saying they have not only let down female cyclists by underplaying biology but left trans women, such as Emily Bridges, facing intense scrutiny.

Maybe, but the intense scrutiny on Bridges is his fault as well as that of sports bodies. He should have been sharply aware all along that he should never compete against women, end of story.

Archibald, who won the second of her cycling gold medals in Tokyo last year alongside Dame Laura Kenny in the Madison, said it was wrong for governing bodies to ignore the science that shows trans women who have gone through male puberty have a retained advantage in strength, stamina and physique.

However, she also expressed deep sympathy for Bridges, who broke the junior men’s 25-mile record before transitioning in 2020, saying she was only following the rules of cycling’s governing body, the UCI, before it decided to block her racing as a woman last month.

Not “only.” Not really. Yes cycling’s governing body is at fault but Bridges’s conscience was AWOL. It’s an unfair advantage, it’s obvious that the advantage is unfair, and people should just stop.

“It is my opinion that the international governing bodies of several sports have let down transgender athletes, in particular transgender women, with their inclusion policies,” Archibald said in a statement.

“These policies have put the athletes, their involvement in sport, and their personal lives under intense scrutiny when all the athletes have done is follow the rules and enter a category they were encouraged to enter.”

But they shouldn’t have. Archibald is being generous, but too much generosity is how we got here in the first place, and I think we need to shelve it. The athletes all know it’s unfair, and they do it anyway. I’m way more interested in the unfairness to women than I am in the unfairness to men who are trans.

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