The Commonwealth Games, the next of which is set to take place in Birmingham, England, later this year, will be the first international sporting event to allow biological males who identify as women to compete in the women’s category in cycling.
Indeed, any male athlete who now identifies as a woman is now “in serious contention to be picked following the green light by authorities,” The Telegraph reported.
The new gender roles could pave the way for trans women to win medals in cycling, and potentially open the door for further women’s events to see male-bodied participants.
Despite concerns raised by the U.K.’s Sports Councils Equality Group, which published a comprehensive report on the inclusion of transgendered athletes in women’s sports, it would appear that the move is going through.
As previously reported by Rebel News, the report found that testosterone suppression treatment for trans athletes “does not negate” the physical advantages they possess as biological males.
The Telegraph reported:
Games bosses agreed on a blanket policy in which they will effectively honour international federation rules agreed for each sport. The athlete in question's national governing body has a transgender policy that stipulates that a rider’s testosterone level must be below 5nmol/L for at least 12 months before their first race.
The Commonwealth Games' new transgender policy is for all sports and is not dramatically different than the 2018 guidelines which allowed New Zealand trans weightlifter Laurel Hubbard to compete. She had been a favourite to win +90kg gold, but an elbow injury during the competition forced her withdrawal from the event.
“The CGF will work in close partnership with the relevant international federations to establish qualification and eligibility criteria for athlete participation at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games,” the federation told The Telegraph of the updated gender policy.
Last November, the International Olympic Committee ruled that trans women are no longer required to reduce their testosterone levels to compete in women’s sports categories. The new framework replaced previous 2015 guidelines, concluding that there should be no presumption that biological males have an automatic advantage over naturally-born women.