Track and field bans transgender athletes
Manchester, England –
World Athletics has banned transgender women from competing in elite women’s competitions if they are past male puberty, the sport’s governing body said Thursday.
The council also voted to tighten restrictions on athletes with Dysdevelopmental Disorders (DSD), reducing the maximum amount of plasma testosterone in athletes from 5 nanomoles per liter to 2.5 nanomoles per liter.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said at a press conference that the decision to exclude transgender women was “based on the overarching need to protect the category of women.”
The governing bodies previously offered the option of allowing transgender athletes to also compete in the women’s category if they maintained testosterone levels below 2.5 nanomoles per liter for 24 months.
But he said Thursday it had become clear there was little support within the sport for the proposal.
“We’re not saying no forever,” Coe said, adding that the WA will form a task force to study the issue of transinclusion, chaired by a transgender athlete.
DSD athletes must reduce their testosterone levels below the new limits for a minimum of 24 months in order to compete internationally in elite events in the women’s category, WA said in a statement.
The stricter rules affect DSD athletes such as two-time Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, 2020 Olympic 200m silver medalist Christine Mboma, and Francine Niyonsaba, runner-up to Semenya in the 800m at the 2016 Olympics.
Previously, WA regulations for DSD required women to maintain testosterone levels below 5 nanomoles per liter when competing in the 400-meter to 1-mile range.
At the 2020 Olympics, South Africa’s Semenya and Burundi’s Niyonsaba were ruled out of the 800m before turning their attention to the 5,000m.
Semenya didn’t qualify for the tournament, but Niyonsaba made it to the final before being disqualified for a lane violation.
Namibia’s Mboma was unable to run the 400m but switched to the 200m to win the silver medal.
DSD athletes have male testicles, but they do not produce enough of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is necessary for the formation of the male external genitalia.
Swimming’s global governing body, World Aquatics, voted last June to bar transgender women who have gone through male puberty from elite competition. I discovered that transgender women still have significant advantages, even after
The vote passed with 71% of the national federations.