Track and field’s governing body has announced a new proposal on the participation of transgender women athletes in women’s events.
World Athletics officials say trans athletes should be allowed to compete, but under much stricter eligibility rules.
That rule would also apply to athletes with differences in sex development, such as Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, Olympic silver medalist sprinter Christine Mboma of Namibia and South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion.
In a statement released earlier this week, the governing body said that its “preferred option” is to allow those athletes to compete, but capping the maximum amount of testosterone at 2.5 nanomoles per liter of blood.
Currently, trans athletes are allowed to compete in women’s elite events if they keep their levels below 5 nanomoles for a year.
Athletes with sex development differences are required to keep their levels below 5 nanomoles for at least six months before competing.
The new proposal would increase the amount of time athletes would need to keep their testosterone below that level to two year
Last year, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) announced a change in policy that effectively banned the participation of trans athletes in sports.
On June 19, FINA members announced its new “gender inclusion policy,” which allows only swimmers who transitioned before age 12 to compete in women’s events.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe praised FINA’s decision at the time.
In 2019, in the midst of a heated battle between Semenya and World Athletics — then called the International Association of Athletics Federations — the United Nations Human Rights Council issued a statement strongly criticizing “policies and practices that force, coerce or otherwise pressure women and girl athletes into undergoing unnecessary, humiliating and harmful medical procedures.”
The council expressed concern that any discriminatory regulations that require women and girl athletes to “medically reduce their blood testosterone levels contravene international human rights norms and standards.”
With News Wire Services