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The British made a very important decision regarding women’s cycling

The British made a very important decision regarding women’s cycling

British Cycling has banned trans women from the women’s cycling category after a nine-month consultation.

Under the new participation guidelines, which the decision-making body says are “equitably based,” transgender athletes will be included in a so-called “open class” they will compete in. The female category will be reserved for “those born female”.

These changes prevent Emily Bridges – Britain’s leading transgender cyclist – from being part of the country’s women’s team.

Studies show that transgender women retain a performance advantage even with testosterone suppression.”

– Announced British Cyclingadded:

When developing our policy, the goal has always been to promote and support equality and diversity, while at the same time prioritizing fair competition.”

Trans women will be able to participate in non-competitive and community cycling without restrictions.

A promising competitor in the junior men’s events, Bridges came out as transgender in 2020 and began hormone therapy as part of his treatment for his gender dysphoria. She was then eligible to compete in elite women’s races under British Cycling’s transgender policy, which required a rider’s testosterone levels to be less than five nanomoles per liter in the 12 months prior to competition. However, just days before the 2022 World National Championships, the UCI said Bridges could only be allowed to participate if it was confirmed he was eligible to compete in international competitions.

Then, a group of elite female cyclists called on the UCI to ‘repeal’ its rules on transgender participation and claimed that female athletes in the UK

They are “willing to boycott” events because they are “concerned about fairness in their sport”.

Bridges responded by saying he felt “harassed and demonized” and added that he had “no advantage” over his competitors, which he could substantiate with data.

While British Cycling suspended it, the UCI tightened its rules, increasing the qualification period to two years and lowering the testosterone threshold for transgender female riders to 2.5 nmol/L.

In March, UK Athletics banned transgender women from competing in the women’s category. Similar moves have been made in swimming, triathlon, and both sports of rugby.

Several studies have shown that transgender women retain cardiovascular and fitness benefits compared to female athletes even after taking testosterone-lowering hormones.

Critics of transgender athletes’ participation in some women’s sports say it gives them a disproportionate advantage over their peers and limits the chances of their competitors. Others, however, argue that since there are so few transgender athletes, the sport needs to be more inclusive and that open classes are discriminatory.

British Cycling said its women-only community program “will continue to be open and inclusive of trans women and non-binary people”, who will “continue to participate in a wide range of British cycling activities according to their gender identity”.

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