UCI announces ban on participation of trans athletes in women events following latest hearing
In a major development, the UCI on Friday announced an update to their policy. According to the new policy, transgender athletes will not be allowed to compete in women events from July 17.
Austin Killips after winning at the Tour of the Gila (Pic Credit: The Telegraph)
The year 2023 has seen the topic of the involvement of transgender athletes in women’s sporting events rise to new heights. Several states in the US have already laid out a ban on these athletes for participating on the merits of “fairness“. The Union Cycliste International (UCI) has now taken a major step. The organization has rolled out a ban on trans athletes from competing in female international events.
For several months, UCI had been under the heat for allowing trans athletes to appear in their events. This was mainly due to the participation and victory of Austin Killips. The trans athlete had been in the center stage following her involvement. The UCI had earlier defended her and their actions. However, director Michael Engleman had mentioned in May that this could kill the sport.
Fast forward to July and the UCI has revised their plan. In a lengthy message, the organization stated they have “updated” their policy. According to the new rules, athletes who “transitioned after (male) puberty,” will not be allowed to compete in women’s events.
“From now on. female transgender athletes who have transitioned after (male) puberty will be prohibited from women’s events on the UCI International Calendar – in all categories – in various disciplines,” the body said in their statement.
What led the UCI to update its policy so suddenly?
The debate regarding “fairness” has been a key issue following the involvement of transgender athletes. The “biological” advantage they possess is something that has been challenged by several female athletes. According to the previous UCI policy, athletes had to undergo hormone therapy before applying to races. This was done to give the other female participants a fair chance of fighting.
As per a recent meeting, the body came to the conclusion that current medical results cannot guarantee the removal of this advantage. This led the board members to announce this new change. UCI president David Lappartient expressed their stance and reaffirmed that they are happy for trans athletes to choose their sport of cycling, He though claimed that they had a duty to make sure everyone has an equal chance of winning.
The UCI later addressed the situation regarding the international Masters event. Going forward, the Men’s category will be renamed to Men/Open. Athletes who do not feel the criteria for women’s events will be allowed to participate in the men’s events without any restriction from the governing body. These new changes will come into effect from July 17.
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