A petition challenging the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) transgender policy and calling for the exclusion of New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard from competing in Tokyo later this month is building with more than 21,000 signatures already added.
Hubbard, 43, a male who identifies as a woman, became the first transgender athlete to be selected to represent their country at the Olympics when she was one of New Zealand’s first picks last month for the Tokyo games.
As Breitbart News reported, Hubbard transitioned in 2012 and has been competing at home and would have been on New Zealand’s last Olympics team if it wasn’t for an injury that prevented it.
Now a change.org petition is calling for a review and overhaul of the IOC’s policy on transgender athletes and has so-far received more than 21,000 signatures.
The petition outlines the policy allows “male-born athletes who identify as women” to take the place of women on sports teams and break women’s sporting records.
“This is unfair to women due to the incontrovertible physical advantage that transwomen have,” the petition said.
Laurel Hubbard, a New Zealand weightlifter born male but now competing as a transgender female, is working to win a spot at the Olympics. https://t.co/wlBkcoqdn7
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 2, 2020
The petition argues the IOC’s policy on transgender athletes “completely ignores” any physical advantages in speed, height, stamina and strength that a “male-born athlete will have”.
The Olympic Committee released a consensus in 2015 in which it approved the eligibility of transgender women to compete in the games under certain conditions.
Some within the weightlifting community argue the policy does not guarantee fair competition. The determining criteria — a maximum reading of 10 nanomoles per litre of testosterone — is as least five times more than a biological woman.
Belgium’s Anna Van Bellinghen, who will likely compete against Hubbard, said the New Zealander’s presence would be “like a bad joke” for women competitors.
“The whole thing feels like a bad joke…we are powerless.” https://t.co/yJpd9DVN7i
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 31, 2021
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern defended the weightlifter’s inclusion in this summer’s competition, saying it was in line with the rules.
“Parties here have simply followed the rules. That’s the case for Laurel but also the team in New Zealand – they have followed the rules,” she told reporters in Wellington last month. “The alternative is to have someone who followed the rules but then is denied the ability to participate.
”So, ultimately, I leave it to those bodies and that’s the decision they have made and it’s in keeping with the standard that has been set globally.“