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Transgender Athlete Bans Spread.

Posted on 23rd June 2022

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There seems to be a bit of a bandwagon rolling at the moment regarding transgender athletes.

This article on the BBC reports that swimming's world governing body, Fina, has banned transgender athletes from competing in women's elite races if they have gone through any part of the process of male puberty.

The decision by Fina was praised by Sharron Davies, winner of a silver medal for swimming in the 1980 Olympics, and she called for other sports to follow suit, as reported here by the Daily Mail. Recently, cycling updated their own rules but were criticised for continuing to base transgender inclusion on testosterone levels and admitting they could not 'eliminate all advantages held by a transgender'.

Following hot on the heels of that decision, the International Rugby League (IRL) has decided to ban transgender players from women's international rugby league matches, as reported here by the BBC. At the moment this is a temporary ban, while the issue is further studied.

The latest development, reported here on the BBC, is that Lord Coe, the World Athletics president, has hinted the sport could also ban transgender women from elite female competitions, insisting "fairness is non-negotiable".

Some readers are probably not pleased, because they feel that we should not punish athletes for their decisions about gender identity. My position, however, is that, if they had ambitions to compete as women at the top levels of a sport, they should have taken that into account before deciding on their gender reassignment surgery. The choice is easy to state, although not so easy to make: either stay male and compete in your sport, or become female and give up your sporting ambitions. Lord Coe's position that "fairness is non-negotiable" trumps all other issues.