The World Athletics president Sebastian Coe announced on Thursday that transgender women will no longer be permitted to compete in female track and field events, regardless of their testosterone levels. Coe cited fairness over inclusion in his announcement.
No transgender athlete who has experienced male puberty will be allowed to compete in female world ranking competitions starting on March 31, according to Coe.
Coe stated that World Athletics had consulted with stakeholders regarding the issue of transgender athletes, including 40 national federations, the International Olympic Committee, and trans groups, after a meeting of the global track and field federation’s decision-making body.
According to the vast majority of those surveyed, transgender athletes shouldn’t compete in the female division, he said.
Many people think there isn’t enough proof that trans women don’t still have an advantage over biological women, and they want more proof that any physical advantages have been reduced before they’ll even consider the possibility of including trans people in the category of women.
Added him: “I think the decision we made was in the best interests of our sport.
A working group led by a transgender person, he said, would be established to keep an eye on scientific advancements.
Coe declared, “We’re not going to keep saying no.
“Making decisions when competing needs and rights of various groups are involved is never easy, but we continue to hold the belief that maintaining fairness for female athletes must come first.
“The science surrounding physical performance and the male advantage, which will unavoidably advance over the next few years, will serve as our guide in this. We will reevaluate our stance in light of new information, but we believe that maintaining the integrity of the female athletic division is of utmost importance.”
The option that was presented to stakeholders required transgender athletes to maintain their testosterone levels below 2.5 nmol/L (nanomoles per litre of blood) for 24 months in order to be eligible to compete internationally in the female category, according to a statement from World Athletics.
“As of right now, there are no transgender athletes competing internationally in athletics, so there is no evidence that their presence would affect how fairly women compete in athletics.
In light of these facts, the Council chose to put inclusion ahead of fairness and the integrity of the female competition.
The decision by World Athletics follows that of FINA, the international governing body of swimming, which has prohibited transgender swimmers who experienced male puberty from participating in elite women’s races.
The first international sports federation to declare transgender males to females ineligible for participation in women’s elite and international competition was World Rugby in 2020.
The rules governing athletes classified as DSD, or having “differences of sexual development,” have also been modified by World Athletics.
Caster Semenya of South Africa, a two-time Olympic 800m champion, is the most well-known DSD athlete.
The new rules require DSD athletes to lower their blood testosterone levels to below 2.5 nanomoles per liter, down from the current level of five, and to maintain this level for two years, as opposed to just one as is the case currently, in order to compete in the female category.
In women, testosterone levels typically range from 0.5 to 2.4 nmol/l.
Additionally, World Athletics eliminated the concept of restricted events for DSD athletes, which means that all events are now governed by regulations rather than just the 400m–1 mile ones that were previously watched.