Transgender women barred from female events as UCI takes ‘precautionary measure’

Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges described British Cycling’s decision in May as “a violent act”

World cycling’s governing body has ruled transgender women will be prevented from competing in female events.

The UCI said anyone who has transitioned after male puberty could compete in a ‘men/open’ category.

Female American transgender cyclist Austin Killips won a UCI women’s event two months ago.

In the wake of that result, the world body reopened consultation on the issue, saying it heard “the voice of female athletes and their concerns about an equal playing field for competitors”.

The UCI has renamed the male category ‘men/open’ and added “any athlete who does not meet the conditions for participation in women’s events will be admitted without restriction”.

Previously, transgender women could compete in elite female events provided they met testosterone-based regulations.

Now, the UCI says it has “taken note of the state of scientific knowledge” around hormone therapy, which it says “does not completely eliminate the benefits of testosterone during puberty in men”.

As a result, it concluded action was necessary at international level “as a precautionary measure”.

“Cycling is open to everyone, including transgender people,” said UCI president David Lappartient.

“However [the UCI] has a duty to guarantee equal opportunities for all competitors.”

The UCI also acknowledged rules “may change in the future as scientific knowledge evolves”.

The governing body said the changes would apply to events on the UCI international calendar, including the Women’s World Tour, World Championships and World Cups across different cycling disciplines.

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