Are Transgender Athletes Allowed in the Paris 2024 Olympics?

Are Transgender Athletes Allowed in the Paris 2024 Olympics?

In recent years, transgender athletes participating in international sporting events have faced increasing restrictions. Laurel Hubbard, a New Zealand weightlifter, was the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) allowed transgender athletes to compete as long as their testosterone levels were below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least a year prior to taking part in a competition. 

When it comes to the upcoming Olympic Games, there are tighter restrictions for qualifying. Those who previously qualified to compete against cisgender female athletes because they met the testosterone level requirements may no longer qualify. 

The pendulum is swinging

Some scientists believe that those who go through puberty as males have certain biological advantages. Even after reducing testosterone levels through medication, they may still have physical edges in terms of power, speed, and strength. Other researchers question this belief and point to existing studies that don’t show the enhanced performance of transgender women compared to cisgender peers. 

The IOC has updated its guidelines, and the participation of transgender athletes at the Olympic Games will depend on the decisions of the international sports federations. 

In the United States, the debate continues between those who argue that the most important factor in women’s sports is fairness and others who feel that the inclusion of transgender athletes should be a priority. 

Sports lovers in the U.S.A. anticipate watching some exciting Olympic sporting events in Paris. Sports betting is now legal in many states, and betting on Olympic games is popular

Transgender athlete bans

Various sports governing bodies are starting to impose increasing restrictions on the participation of transgender athletes.

  • World Athletics Council ban

In March of last year, the World Athletics Council banned women who had gone through puberty as males from competing in elite female competitions. The reason for doing so according to the president was the overriding need to protect the female category. 

  • World Aquatics ban

FINA (now World Aquatics), the International Swimming Federation, now only allows transgender swimmers who transitioned before the age of 12 to compete. 

  • International Cycling Union ban

The International Cycling Union (ICU) has introduced bans on women who reached puberty before transitioning. 

Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer at Pennsylvania University, has been at the center of controversy after parents of fellow swim team members wrote a letter to the NCAA asking to ban her from the team. Live sports events coverage shows her winning the 500-yard freestyle event at the NCAA swimming championship in March 2022. The swimmer has not been able to race since 2022 as anyone who has undergone male puberty is ineligible. 

Thomas has filed a legal dispute against World Aquatics citing their anti-trans approach. World Aquatics believes it has taken a fair approach to its gender inclusion policy. A victory for Thomas would open up other sports governing bodies to legal challenges. 

Professional golfer required to do testosterone testing

Professional golfer, Hailey Davidson, had to go for testosterone testing to verify her eligibility after winning a women’s pro golf tournament in Florida. She has been transiting for the past nine years and has noticed the difference in her golf swing. The reaction following her victory shows how many strong feelings and diverse opinions there are when it comes to this issue. 

Transgender athletes advocate for their rights

Across the United States, transgender athletes are facing increasingly restrictive legislation. This has made many of them even more determined to fight for their rights and those of other trans athletes. 

Chris Mosier, one of the famous transgenders in sports, is a prominent advocate for transgender athletes. He began competing in triathlons as a woman and then publicly identified as a transgender male in 2010. He became the first transgender male to represent the United States in international competition.

There are also several top athletes advocating on behalf of trans athletes. Megan Rapinoe, who played on the U.S. Women’s soccer team and retired recently, said she would welcome a transgender player on the squad. At the same time, some anti-trans activists believe that the participation of transgender women is the biggest threat to women’s sports. 

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