Transgender women banned from female athletics events
Friday, 24 March 2023 (11:43 IST)
World Athletics has banned transgender women from competing in female track and field events.
"The council has agreed to exclude male or female transgender athletes who have been through male puberty from female world ranking competitions from March the 31st this year," the governing body's president, Sebastian Coe, said on Thursday.
No such athletes currently compete at the highest elite levels of track.
Coe said World Athletics had discussed the issue with the International Olympic Committee, national federations and trans groups before making the decision.
"The majority of those consulted stated that transgender athletes should not be competing in the female category," he said.
Step taken to 'protect the female category'
Coe said the decision to exclude transgender women was based "on the overarching need to protect the female category."
"Many believe there is insufficient evidence that trans women do not retain advantage over biological women and want more evidence that any physical advantages have been ameliorated before they are willing to consider an option for inclusion into the female category," Coe said.
Coe added that World Athletics would form a task force to study the issue of trans inclusion.
Swimming's world governing body, FINA, voted last June to bar transgender women from elite competition if they had experienced any part of male puberty
DSD athletes must reduce testosterone levels
The council also voted to adopt new regulations that could keep Caster Semenya and other athletes with differences in sex development (DSD) from competing.
DSD athletes have male testes but do not produce enough of the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that is necessary for the formation of male external genitalia.
Coe said 13 athletes are expected to be affected by the council's updated DSD rules, including Semenya, a two-time 800 meter Olympic champion.
In order to compete at next year's Olympics, Semenya would have to undergo hormone-suppressing treatment for six months, something she has said she will never do again, having undergone the treatment a decade ago under previous rules.