Various International Sports Federations, including the Union Cycliste Internationale, International Paralympic Committee, International Tennis Federation, World Rowing, International Golf Federation and others, came together to discuss the future policies regarding the participation of transgender athletes in sports.

The meeting was hosted by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) with the focus on bringing forth discussion from experts and athletes, both transgender and cisgender to present the various perspectives regarding the participation of trans athletes in competitive sports.

UCI was one of my federations to attend the meeting and in the statement they announced their agreement to the conclusions reached by the representatives. These conclusions specified,

  • They remain committed to fair and equal opportunity for female athletes
  • The inclusion of trans women within the female category should be promoted with meaningful eligibility standards, provided it does not create intolerable unfairness.
  • Rules intended to accommodate trans athletes should be sports-specific and designed by the relevant international federation.
  • Testosterone is the primary known driver of the performance gap between males and females and serum Testosterone is regarded as an acceptable proxy to distinguish male from female athletes.
  • If a federation decides to use serum Testosterone for this purpose, it should adopt a fixed threshold at or below 5nmol/L for eligibility for the female category.
  • More research is needed on this issue and should be encouraged by sports federations.

Additionally, the meeting organized two working groups involving members of the involved federations to draft their own transgender eligibility rules and establish a medical and scientific network to promote research in the area of transgender athletes.

Several organizations in attendance have announced their agreement to these conclusions, but we have yet to see how they will shape the future policies regarding the participation of transgender athletes in sports.

By Dirk Smith