British Cycling is to ban all transgender athletes from participating in the female category of events, the conclusion of a nine-month review into the matter has revealed.
The national governing body of cycling in Britain has announced it will keep the female category in competitions for those with a birth sex of female in order to “safeguard the fairness” of the sport.
The male category will be reclassified to an “open category,” in which biological males, transgender men, transgender women, and non-binary individuals can all compete.
British Cycling CEO Jon Dutton said: “I am confident that we have developed policies that both safeguard the fairness of cycle sport competition, whilst ensuring all riders have opportunities to participate.”
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Transgender athletes born as males will now be required to compete in the newly formed Open Category alongside cisgender males and non-binary individuals of the male gender at birth
“Our aim in creating our policies has always been to advance and promote equality, diversity and inclusion, while at the same time prioritizing fairness of competition. This aim has not changed,” the governing body added in a statement.
Cycling is the latest sport to ban transgender athletes from competing in female events, following the lead of the British Triathlon Federation and Swim England, both of which restricted the eligibility of trans individuals.
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The debate in cycling was sparked in March last year when transgender athlete Emily Bridges, born male but who had undergone hormone replacement therapy, was blocked from competing at the British National Omnium Championships by the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, due to protests from other riders.
Although she met the eligibility requirements at the time of the competition, fellow biologically female athletes threatened to boycott the event, tying the hands of the governing body.
It means that Bridges will no longer be eligible for the British women’s team. The athlete called Friday’s announcement by British Cycling a “violent act” by a “failed organization” intent on controlling the narrative regarding transgender inclusion; she then accused the governing body of furthering trans “genocide.”