World Athletics excludes transgender women from female competition, Lord Coe confirms | Athletics News
Lord Coe: “The majority of those consulted stated transgender athletes should not be competing in the female category”; The council also voted to cut the maximum amount of plasma testosterone for athletes with Differences in Sex Development (DSD) in half
Last Updated: 23/03/23 5:39pm
World Athletics has confirmed it will exclude male-to-female transgender athletes who have gone through male puberty from female competition.
World Athletics president Lord Coe said: “We have also taken decisive action to protect the female category in our sport, and to do so by restricting the participation of transgender and DSD athletes.
“Decision taken in consultation with a number of stakeholders including 40 member federations, our athletes, our coaches and through the athletes commission, as well as a range of other community groups, including trans groups, UN experts, the IOC and Para-athletics.
“The majority of those consulted stated that transgender athletes should not be competing in 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.”
The council also voted to cut the maximum amount of plasma testosterone for athletes with Differences in Sex Development (DSD) in half, to 2.5 nanomoles per litre from five.
The tighter rules will impact DSD athletes such as two-times Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, Christine Mboma, the 2020 Olympic silver medallist in the 200m, and Francine Niyonsaba, who finished runner-up to Semenya in the 800m at the 2016 Olympics.
“We’re not saying no forever,” Coe said, adding that World Athletics would form a task force to study the issue of trans inclusion that would be chaired by a transgender athlete.
Swimming’s world governing body World Aquatics voted last June to bar transgender women from elite competition if they had experienced any part of male puberty. A scientific panel had found that even after reducing their testosterone levels through medication, transgender women still had a significant advantage.
The vote passed with 71 per cent of the national federations in favour.
WA regulations around DSD previously required women competing in events between 400m and a mile to maintain testosterone levels below five nanomoles per litre.
For the 2020 Olympics, South Africa’s Semenya and Burundi’s Niyonsaba were both barred from the 800m before turning their attention to the 5,000m.
Semenya failed to qualify for the Games while Niyonsaba made the final before being disqualified for a lane violation.
Namibia’s Mboma, prevented from running the 400m, switched to the 200m and won silver.
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.