So-called “transgender” males are to be banned from women’s cycling competitions in the UK, the country’s regulatory body has announced.
British Cycling, the regulatory body in charge of the eponymous sport in the country, has confirmed that it will be banning “transgender” males from taking part in women’s events, which will now be limited to biological females only.
The organisation had previously allowed “transgender” males who identify as being women to take part in women’s events under certain circumstances, though such a policy was suspended pending investigation last year.
According to a report by The Times, such an investigation has now concluded, with British Cycling now saying that they will enforce a ban on biological males in women’s competitions in the interest of fairness and inclusivity.
“There have been two key drivers for the two policies — on the competitive policy, fairness is absolutely a driving factor. On the non-competitive policy, inclusivity is absolutely the driving factor,” the organisation’s Chief Executive, Jon Dutton, is reported as saying.
The official also added that the regulatory body had a responsibility to “ensure that anyone that wants to take part in cycling has the ability to do so”, and that it had consulted both the latest scientific evidence and equality law requirements when coming to the decision.
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As part of the rework, British Cycling is also reworking the male competition category into a new “open” category, within which traditional men alongside so-called “non-binary” and “transgender” individuals will be allowed to compete.
Such an accommodation has not been warmly welcomed by some “transgender” individuals involved in the sport, with record-breaking male cyclist Zach Bridges — who now goes by Emily — accusing the regulatory body of “furthering a genocide”.
“This is a violent act,” the cyclist — who achieved new UK record times in the junior male category before changing gender — said in a statement posted online.
“When literal Nazis, conspiracy theorists and those who want our eradication are on your side, surely that should give you pause,” the biological male continued.
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However, while Bridges is not happy with the change, the shift in British Cycling’s policy appears to reflect a wider realisation amongst sporting organisations that “transgender” males cannot be allowed to compete in women’s sports.
Apart from a number of state-government-mandated bans implemented in the United States, world governing bodies for a wide variety of sports have recently stepped in to ban male participation in women’s competitions, often citing the risk to women’s safety as justification.
“Transgender women may not currently play women’s rugby,” one statement by the RFU — the world governing body for Rugby Union — reads. “Why? Because of the size, force- and power-producing advantages conferred by testosterone during puberty and adolescence, and the resultant player welfare risks this creates.”
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