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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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December 03, 2023

     Female transgender athletes who transitioned after male puberty will no longer be able to compete in women’s races, world cycling governing body the UCI said.  A good start for women athletics.

    The International Cycling Union joined the governing bodies in track and field and swimming as top-tier Olympic sports addressing in this way the issue of transgender athletes and fairness in women’s events.  The UCI’s decision came after American rider Austin Killips became the first openly transgender woman to win an official cycling event in May.

    “From now on, female transgender athletes who have transitioned after (male) puberty will be prohibited from participating in women’s events on the UCI international calendar — in all categories — in the various disciplines,” the international federation said in a statement.  The UCI said the ban was necessary to “ensure equal opportunities.”

     Killips rode to victory in the fifth stage of the Tour of the Gila, one of the marquee U.S. stage races. Her victory provoked a negative reaction by some cycling fans and former racers despite the 27-year-old athlete having adhered to a policy put in place by the UCI last year requiring transgender athletes to have serum testosterone levels of 2.5 nanomoles per liter or less for at least 24 months before competing in women’s events.

The UCI said it “has taken note of the state of scientific knowledge, which does not confirm that at least two years of gender-affirming hormone therapy with a target plasma testosterone concentration of 2.5 nmol/L is sufficient to completely eliminate the benefits of testosterone during puberty in men.”  It also noted the difficulty to “draw precise conclusions about the effects” of gender-confirming hormone therapy.  

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