Official Ruling: Trans Competitors Banned from Women’s Categories in International Fishing Competitions

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Male-born anglers have been banned from competing in women’s categories in an official ruling made by the governing body of the international angling sport federation.

The new rule revealed by Prof Ugo Claudio Matteoli, the president of the Confédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive (international sport fishing confederation), maintains that male-born transgender fishing contestants will not be allowed to compete as women.

The new rule was announced after England’s ladies’ angling team refused to compete in the world championships on the tale of a decision that was made to allow a man to compete in the women’s category, according to the Telegraph.

“In line with the recent debates wondering around the question whether it is fair to let transgender [women] participate in female competitions, we have finally concluded that this eventuality is absolutely discriminatory, especially in those disciplines where the physical strength can make a difference,” Matteoli’s Sept. 29 statement said.

Matteoli added that the sport does not have the infrastructure to test for testosterone levels at its events and that starting immediately, the ban would go into effect at “some female dedicated competitions.”

Birth certificates will also be required if a challenge is made, Matteoli added.

At issue was the simple physical strength that gave transgender competitor Becky Lee Birtwhistle Hodges an edge over his female counterparts. Many criticized the decision to allow Hodges to compete as a woman because his physical strength gave him the ability to cast his line farther than any female opponent.

The ban on male-born athletes in angling is a victory for Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, who has been an opponent of transgender athletes being allowed to compete as women. Winterbourne praised the women of the British team for taking a stand and refusing to compete with Hodges in the mix and called them “courageous women.”

Wendy Metcalfe, a member of the UK team, thanked the 81-year-old peer for supporting women’s sports.

“It means so much to me that you took this on for us when so many were not interested,” team member Wendy Metcalfe wrote on X.

“It means so much to me that you took this on for us when so many were not interested,” Metcalfe wrote. “I cannot stop smiling and really cannot thank you enough.”

“You are a wonderful team of England’s leading ladies in all that you do, and I’m honoured and very, very happy to know you all,” Baroness Nicholson replied.

Several sports have begun moving away from allowing male-born transgender athletes to compete as women, as well.

In July, for instance, the international body that governs swimming competitions partially reversed a transgender athlete ban by announcing a new “open category” that will allow transgender athletes to compete.

World Aquatics president Husain Al-Musallam said the debate over transgender athletes is a “very complex topic” but also insisted, “Our sport must be open to everybody,” NBC News reported.

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) also officially banned male-born athletes from competing in the women’s category that same month.

UCI’s move came on the heels of British Cycling’s decision to ban men from competing as women, a rule that went into effect in May.

Several other sports have also banned men claiming to be women from competing as women. In Sept. of last year, international Rugby passed a rule preventing male-born athletes from competing as women. Also, in Dec., pro disc golf also banned men from competing as women.

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