The World Athletics Council, the “world governing body for track and field athletics,” announced new eligibility policies for “transgender athletes” and athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD).
The organization also announced a continued ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes, due to the war in Ukraine.
In a press release, World Athletics stated its decision to protect elite women’s track and field events:
In regard to transgender athletes, the Council has agreed to exclude male-to-female transgender athletes who have been through male puberty from female World Rankings competition from 31 March 2023.
Presumably, a boy who is put on experimental and damaging puberty blockers at a young age, and who then uses opposite sex hormones and surgeries in an attempt to look like a woman, would be eligible for elite women’s track and field events.
The new “Eligibility Regulations For Transgender Athletes” explain the reasons for the decision:
The substantial sex difference in sports performance that emerges from puberty onwards means that the only way to achieve the objectives set out above is to maintain separate classifications (competition categories) for male and female athletes.
That difference is due to the physical advantages conferred on male athletes by the testes producing much higher levels of circulating testosterone than ovaries produce from puberty onwards in female athletes.
The regulations also state:
World Athletics recognises that Transgender athletes may wish to compete in Athletics in a classification consistent with their gender identity. World Athletics respects the dignity of all individuals, including Transgender athletes.
In making the decision, the Council consulted with “Member Federations, the Global Athletics Coaches Academy and Athletes’ Commission, the IOC [International Olympic Committee] as well as representative transgender and human rights groups.”
World Athletics gave itself room to change this decision protecting women’s sports in the future, declaring:
However the Council agreed to set up a Working Group for 12 months to further consider the issue of transgender inclusion. …
Its remit will be to consult specifically with transgender athletes to seek their views on competing in athletics; to review and/or commission additional research where there is currently limited research and to put forward recommendations to Council.
World Athletics is saying it will be listening to trans activists, and this decision could change in twelve months.
DSD, sometimes referred to as “intersex” conditions, are biological or chromosomal congenital conditions where a child is born with indeterminate or ambiguous genitalia, or where there is a mismatch between a child’s chromosomes and physical appearance.
These conditions are wholly different than being so-called “transgender.” It is an objective physiological condition. Being “trans” is not.
Sometimes these anomalies are apparent at birth. In other cases, the intersex condition doesn’t become apparent until puberty or even later in life, if at all. DSD can be biological and/or chromosomal in origin. Sometimes surgery is used to adjust the external appearance.
World Athletics explained the new regulations for female DSD athletes, who may have high testosterone levels:
For DSD athletes, the new regulations will require any relevant athletes to reduce their testosterone levels below a limit of 2.5 nmol/L for a minimum of 24 months to compete internationally in the female category in any event, not just the events that were restricted (400m to one mile) under the previous regulations.
Previous regulations required hormone suppression for only six months and only applied to certain events.
The organization also reinstated the Russian Athletic Federation; the member organization had “been suspended for seven years due to doping.”
However, because of the war in Ukraine, it “reaffirmed the decision it originally made in March 2022, to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes, support personnel, Member Federation officials and officials who are citizens of those two countries from all World Athletics Series events for the foreseeable future.”
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