The International Cycling Union (UCI) yesterday banned female transgender athletes who transitioned after male puberty from competing in women’s races.
International Cycling Union statement
The UCI said in a statement that the rule change will take effect from Monday.
The ruling prohibits female transgender athletes who transitioned after puberty from participating in women’s events on the UCI International Calendar.
The UCI offered three reasons as justification for the decision.
- the state of scientific knowledge does not confirm that at least two years of gender-affirming hormone therapy with a target plasma testosterone concentration of 2.5 nmol/L is sufficient to completely eliminate the benefits of testosterone during puberty in men.
- the variability in response to gender-confirming hormone therapy makes it difficult to draw precise conclusions.
- the shape and arrangement of the bones may constitute a lasting advantage for female transgender athletes.
However, the statement did leave open the possibility of changing the rules again as scientific knowledge evolves. Also, the UCI will discuss co-financing research into the changes in athletes undergoing hormone treatment.
UCI: “We encourage everyone to take part in our sport”
International Cycling Union President David Lappartient added that “cycling – as a competitive sport, leisure activity or means of transport – is open to everyone, including transgender people.” He said the UCI encouraged transgender people “like everyone else” to take part in the sport.
However, “it was not possible, as a precautionary measure, to authorise the former (transgender women) to race in the female categories.”
American trans-advocate and cyclocross racer Molly Cameron described the new rule as unacceptable.
“In 2003, the UCI enforced a policy banning most trans women. In 2023, after two decades of progress, they’ve chosen to do it again…
“We are going to hear a lot of: ‘Sorry, but this is what we have to do to protect fairness’ as some events will choose to echo the UCI and ban trans women from women’s categories.
“That is unacceptable, and this is a deeply problematic policy… Taking rights and opportunities from one does not equate to fairness for all.”
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