Olympic Committee gives new guidelines on transgender athletes
Yesterday, the International Olympic Committee rolled out a new framework for transgender athletes who wish to compete. While a few hard rules will be established by the committee, the main purpose of these new guidelines is to outline the committee’s position of acceptance and inclusion when it comes to transgender athletes participating in the Olympic games.
The main takeaway from this new framework is that athletes cannot be denied access to competition because of any physical advantages that they may be considered to have. However, the IOC stated that they were not responsible for determining competition criteria for every sport and that the specific Olympic federations will be tasked with determining who can compete. The IOC director of athletes went on to explain the new guidelines.
“The framework is not legally binding. What we are offering to all the international federations is our expertise and dialogue, rather than jumping to a conclusion…This is a process that we have to go through with each federation on a case by case basis and see what is required.”
The committee did away with the former policy that transgender athletes had to provide tests showing their testosterone levels for the 12 months prior to competition.
“You don’t need to use testosterone (to decide who can compete) at all…” claims the IOC medical director. Reuters reports that the head of human rights for the IOC also went on to explain that the committee has resolved to move away from invasive sex testing and examinations.
“We really want to make sure that athletes are not pressured or coerced into making a harmful decision about their bodies.”
This new framework was compiled after working with 250+ athletes and stakeholders over the course of 2 years. The Tokyo Olympic Games held last year featured the first transgender Olympic athlete ever, Laurel Hubbard from New Zealand, competing in the weightlifting event. These guidelines will officially be instituted after the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
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