British Cycling announced Friday that transgender females will not be permitted to compete against biological women.
The organization will have an “open” category, which will allow transgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals and those born male and female to compete.
Transgender men that have yet to begin hormone therapy will be able to compete in the female category, while the current men’s category will be consolidated into the open category.
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The new policy is the result of a nine-month review that included a consultation process with riders and stakeholders, including members of Britain’s team, and a study of available medical research led by British Cycling’s chief medical officer, Dr. Nigel Jones. That research was said to show a clear performance advantage for individuals who go through puberty as a male, and one which cannot be fully mitigated by testosterone suppression.
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“It’s an incredibly emotive and, at times, divisive subject area,” said Jon Dutton, chief executive of British Cycling. “We have taken many months to look at three areas: Firstly, a consultation with the athletes affected and the wider cycling community; secondly, looking at the medical research available at this point in time; and thirdly, from the legal viewpoint in terms of the association with the Equalities Act.
“We’ve made a decision on the balance of all three to give clarity, to give direction and that clear way forward for any athletes affected.”
There is no date on when the new policy will be enforced, but British Cycling says it will go into effect before the end of this calendar year.
A transgender female recently won the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico. After another won her age group in the 100-mile Desert Gravel Co2Ut, the biological women who finished in second and third places refused to stand on the prize podium.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.