Fact-Check: Transgender Cyclist Claims ‘Scientific Data’ Proves He Has No Advantage over Women

Transgender Cyclist

Transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon falsely claimed there is no scientific evidence that suggests he holds an advantage over women athletes, in an interview with BBC Sport.

“There is no scientific data on athletes that shows that trans women have an unfair advantage over cisgender athletes,” McKinnon said during the interview with BBC Sport. “Every athlete has physical advantages, every athlete, and we’re all trying to exploit them.”

A Canadian, McKinnon, 37, set the record in the women’s 35-39 category, and also won the 200 meter gold medal at the Masters Track Cycling World Championships on Sunday.

In addition, McKinnon won the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles in 2018.

McKinnon’s statement that there is no scientific evidence suggesting biological male athletes have an unfair advantage over biological female athletes, is false.

As Breitbart News reported, a recent study conducted by the Karolinska Institute and Linkoping University in Sweden found biological males — who claim to be transgender women — who were administered a full year of hormone therapy, still maintained muscle mass and strength advantages over biological women.

“Despite the robust increases in muscle mass and strength in TM, the TW were still stronger and had more muscle mass following 12months of treatment,” the researchers observed. “These findings add new knowledge that could be relevant when evaluating transwomen’s eligibility to compete in the women’s category of athletic competitions.

“Our results indicate that after 12 months of hormonal therapy, a transwoman will still likely have performance benefits over a cis-woman [biological woman],” they concluded.

In another study published at BMJ and released in July, three professors — two in bioethics and one in physiology — concluded that male athletes who claim to be female hold an “intolerable” advantage over biological female athletes.

The study was conducted after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it would allow “transgender women” to compete against biological females if their testosterone is below 10 nmol/L. However, even that level is “significantly higher” than that of biological females, the authors said.

They cited research demonstrating that “healthy young men did not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced” for 20 weeks to meet the IOC’s guidelines.

The researchers also noted that “indirect effects of testosterone will not be altered by hormone therapy.”

“For example, hormone therapy will not alter bone structure, lung volume or heart size of the transwoman athlete, especially if she transitions postpuberty, so natural advantages including joint articulation, stroke volume and maximal oxygen uptake will be maintained,” they explained.

“We conclude that the advantage to transwomen afforded by the IOC guidelines is an intolerable unfairness,” stated the professors.

Bodybuilding competitor and track/road race cyclist Victoria Hood told BBC Sport, “The science is clear.”

“It tells us that trans women have an advantage, and the world record has just been broken today by somebody born male who now identifies as female,” said Hood, the owner/manager of Jadan-Weldtite Vive le Velo Women’s Race Team. “And you know the gap between them and the next born female competitor was quite a lot from a cycling perspective.

“It’s all power, you can see that it’s all power,” Hood said. “And we know that that’s what comes from being born male going through a male puberty and having that influx of testosterone throughout puberty.”

Hood referred to the notion that biological males can actually become females as a “myth.”

“There’s this myth that if a male body transitions to a female, they then become a female body,” she added. “We know that’s a myth. It’s a lie agreed upon.”

McKinnon’s recent comments and his website indicate he believes he is a victim of “injustice.”

“My recent work has focused increasingly on two broad topic areas: trans athlete rights and harassment, and epistemic injustice,” he states on his website. “This latter research focuses on ways in which people’s claims of harm are inproperly [sic] doubted.”


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