Under mounting pressure

Two steps forward one step back.

British sports governing bodies are under mounting pressure to reform their policies after world swimming banned transgender athletes who reached male puberty from elite women’s events.

Although the policy could have been passed just by Fina’s executive bureau, endorsement was sought from national governing bodies at an extraordinary general congress in Budapest ahead of the World Swimming Championships.

More than 70 per cent of governing bodies agreed, with 15.3 per cent against, and 13.1 per cent who abstained.

Those are the forward. Now the back.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced a new policy on Thursday, opting to allow transgender women to compete if they have gone through puberty provided their testosterone has been suppressed to below 2.5nmol per litre for at least two years. That would potentially mean Welsh cyclist Emily Bridges could still compete in women’s events at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

That’s a crap new policy. Puberty gives male people a whole slew of permanent advantages, that don’t go away with later puberty suppression. This has been pointed out some 90 billion times over the past couple of years so surely it should have sunk in by now.

Cycling’s decision to reduce its limit still faced a backlash from campaigners, who believe that crucial physical advantages remain after puberty even if testosterone has been suppressed.

They don’t “believe” it, they know it. They recognize it. It’s a fact.

British swimmer Sharron Davies, who was denied Olympic gold in 1980 by state-sponsored doping in East Germany, called on other sports to follow swimming’s lead.

“All the sports should be doing this,” she said. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of my sport for doing the science, asking the athletes/coaches, and standing up for fair sport. Biological females deserve the same opportunities of success in sport as their male counterparts.” 

All the sports should be doing this. Now.

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