The International Cycling Union excludes transgender riders from women’s competitions

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced Friday, July 14 in a press release that it would in turn ban the participation in international competitions of female transgender athletes who made their transition after puberty. Until now, the UCI has allowed transgender women who have experienced male puberty to compete in women’s events if their testosterone levels – a male hormone secreted in greater amounts in men than in women – were reduced to 2.5. nanomoles per liter over the previous two years.

At the end of 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave up establishing uniform guidelines for all sports, leaving control to the various international federations. World Athletics, which oversees athletics, has since decided to exclude transgender people from women’s athletics competitions. “It is a difficult and evolving subject in which we must navigate between two requirements, inclusion and respect for sporting equity”, then reacted the French sports minister, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra.

According to the president of the UCI, the Frenchman David Lappartient, he is ” duty “ of the instance “to guarantee above all equal opportunities between all competitors”. It is this imperative, he adds, which led the UCI to conclude that it was not possible, “as a precaution”, to allow female transgender athletes to race in women’s categories. These new rules will come into force on July 17, but may change in the future according to the evolution of scientific knowledge, said the UCI.

“Interindividual variability”

This decision applies to the various competitions organized under the aegis of the UCI, whose men’s categories are renamed “Men/Open”. Any athlete who does not meet the conditions for participation in the women’s events will be admitted without any restriction.

“Scientific knowledge does not confirm that at least two years of gender-confirming hormone therapy with a target plasma testosterone concentration of 2.5 nanomoles per liter is sufficient to completely eliminate the benefits given by testosterone during puberty. at men’s “, ures the UCI to justify its decision.

Furthermore, she continues, “there is great interindividual variability in the response to gender-confirming hormone therapy”And “it also cannot be ruled out that biomechanical factors such as the shape and arrangement of the bones of their forelimbs constitute a persistent advantage for female transgender athletes”.

Also read the analysis: Article reserved for our subscribers Inclusivity or Equity: Sport Facing the Dilemma of Transgender Athletes

The UCI follows the British cycling federation, which announced in May that it would ban transgender women from its women’s events. A previous rule required runners to demonstrate low testosterone levels for twelve months prior to competition in order to compete. But in April the Federation had suspended this regulation after a transgender woman, Emily Bridges, had wanted to participate in the national omnium championships in the women’s category when she had been declared ineligible by the UCI. Mme Bridges had condemned the new policy, calling it a“violent act”.

The World with AFP

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