World Federation bans trans women from all competitions

MONACO. In the name of sporting fairness, the “integrity of female categories”, the world athletics association World Athletics (WA) has banned the start of transgender women in competitions. This applies from March 31st and affects athletes who went through puberty as young men. Recently, more and more women had complained about distortions of competition.

The current testosterone level no longer plays a decisive role. The only decisive factor is when a man has changed his sex, explained WA President Sebastian Coe following a council meeting of the association. The World Swimming Federation decided last June to exclude trans women from competitions. The rule here is that they can only participate in competitions if they have completed their gender change by the age of twelve.


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The decision that has now been made in favor of athletics is based on consultation with various stakeholders. In addition to the translobby, this also included 40 national associations and the International Olympic Committee. Coe: “The majority of respondents stated that transgender athletes should not compete in the female category.” Many felt that “there is insufficient evidence that trans women do not have an advantage over biological women.”

Stricter rules for trans women and “hermaphrodites”

The world association has also tightened the admission regulations in all disciplines for athletes with variants of gender development, so-called hermaphrodites. Among them is two-time 800m Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya of South Africa. These athletes now have to lower their testosterone levels in the blood to below 2.5 nanomoles per liter. So far, the limit was five – so it will be halved. In addition, they must fall below the value for two years – no longer just one year.

Coe emphasized that at least the exclusion of trans women was not final. “We’re not saying no forever.” A transgender-led working group will be set up to follow scientific developments on the subject: “As soon as there is more evidence, we will review our position. But we believe that the integrity of the female category in athletics comes first.” (fh/ds)

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