New UK cycling rules ban trans women from competing in elite women’s events
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Riders who were assigned male at birth will not be able to compete in British Cycling’s elite women’s events under a new transgender and non-binary participation policy released by the body. leader on Friday.
New rules for competitive events, due to be implemented this year, will see races split into ‘open’ and ‘female’ categories, with transgender women, transgender men, non-binary people and those whose gender has been awarded to a male at birth eligible to compete in the open category.
The female category will remain for those whose sex was assigned female at birth and for transgender men who did not receive hormone therapy.
The current male category will be consolidated into the open category, in which those whose gender was assigned female at birth can also compete if they wish.
The new policy is the result of a nine-month review that included a consultation process with riders and stakeholders, including members of the British team, as well as a review of available medical research conducted by the British Cycling’s chief medical officer, Dr Nigel Jones. This research was said to show a clear performance advantage for individuals going through puberty as a man, which cannot be entirely mitigated by testosterone suppression.
There is still no date set for the implementation of the new regulations, British Cycling only indicating that it will be before the end of the year, allowing time to modify the technical regulations and discuss with the UCI , the world governing body for cycling, regarding the implementation. .
The new policy diverges from that of the UCI, which is reviewing its own rules after American transgender woman Austin Killips won the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico this month.
The UCI allows transgender women who have gone through male puberty to compete in elite women’s events if they have had testosterone levels reduced by 2.5 nanomoles per liter in the previous two years.
British Cycling’s policy change also follows one adopted by World Aquatics last year.
British Cycling suspended its previous policy last April after transgender woman Emily Bridges sought to compete in the national omnium championships as a rider.
Bridges described the move as a “violent act,” adding, “I agree there needs to be a nuanced political discussion and continued research, but that didn’t happen.”
Jon Dutton, chief executive of British Cycling, has apologized for the anxiety and upheaval caused in the 13 months since the previous policy was suspended.
This previous transgender policy allowed riders to compete in the women’s category if they had testosterone levels below five nanomoles per liter for a 12-month period prior to competition.
The governing body will continue to review new research as it becomes available, with the policy being reviewed regularly.
“It’s an incredibly emotional and sometimes divisive area,” Dutton said. “We took several months to look at three areas: first, a consultation with the athletes affected and the wider cycling community; second, to review the medical research available at this point; and thirdly from a legal perspective in terms of association with equality law.
“We made a decision on the balance of the three to provide clarity, direction and that clear path for all athletes involved.”