New rules for transgender athletes probably also in athletics
The rules for trans people adopted by the World Swimming Federation are being copied. So there could soon be a separate starting class for trans people in athletics. Changes are also being discussed in football.
DAccording to British media reports, the World Athletics Federation could follow the new rules of the International Swimming Federation (Fina) for trans people. As reported by the BBC and the “Mirror”, among others, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe praised the Fina’s specifications and was open to rule changes. “You’re seeing an international federation asserting its right to set rules, regulations and policies that are in the best interest of its sport,” Coe told BBC Sport.
“This is how it should be. We have always believed that biology trumps gender and we will continue to review our regulations accordingly. We will follow the science,” said the two-time 1,500-meter Olympic champion. Studying and research will continue, gathering evidence that testosterone plays a key role in performance.
End of the year topic in the Executive Committee
At the end of the year, the Executive Committee of the World Athletics Federation should discuss the issue. So far, transgender athletes in athletics in women’s competitions have been allowed to start with a testosterone level of less than 5 nanomoles per liter of blood for 12 months. “When push comes to shove and there’s a judgment between inclusion and fairness, we will always choose fairness – that’s non-negotiable to me,” said Coe. “The integrity of women’s sport is really important. We cannot allow a generation of young girls to think that there is no future for them in sport.”
Fina had set new rules for trans people in swimming competitions on Sunday. Thereafter, they may only enter women’s competitions if they have completed their gender reassignment by the age of twelve. The Fina has also set up a working group to work on a so-called “open” competition category.
The International Rugby League is also following Fina’s example and is banning transgender athletes from international women’s competitions until further notice. This affects, among other things, the World Cup in England in November. As the IRL announced on Tuesday, they are working intensively on the development of criteria “that fairly reconcile the right of the individual to play with the safety of all participants”. The goal is a “comprehensive inclusion policy”, by 2023 a final line for trans people should be defined.
Will Fifa soon follow the new rules?
The IRL referred to the International Olympic Committee in its decision. According to this, it is the task of every sport and its governing body “to determine to what extent an athlete has a disproportionate advantage compared to his competitors – taking into account the different nature of the individual sports”.
There could also be changes in football. “Fifa is currently reviewing its gender-specific eligibility requirements in consultation with expert stakeholders,” said a spokesman for the world governing body. A source from the English newspaper “The Times” from Fifa circles said that the association is “looking very closely” at Fina’s new guidelines.
The topic had recently attracted attention primarily in connection with the American Lia Thomas. She became the first trans woman to win the highest level of college athletics in March. The swimmer won the 500 yard freestyle.