Olympic chief says fairness and inclusion are incompatible in sport

Speaking at a conference in Rome, Olympic chief Franceso Ricci Bitti, has said biological science must be considered above a social trend or ideology when determining rules around elite sport. Britti heads up the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.

'The human rights approach says the transgender woman should be free to live a normal life,' Bitti said. 'This is completely true of course but not perhaps in the elite professional side of sport.

'The feeling of the international federations is that inclusion is a social value. Therefore the eligibility rule around restriction should be first science-based and designed to preserve fairness in top competition.

'I believe the most recent guidelines are too evasive and therefore we have to improve them or otherwise we lose the levels [of competitiveness].'

The guidelines, published last November, were not science based and favour males who appropriate womanhood. It even went as far as to say no trans athlete should be assumed to have a physical advantage without evidence to prove otherwise. Gender ideology trumped biology and the onus was on females to prove there was an unfair advantage.

'Society has become a lot more complex in the last 10 to 15 years and we are moving towards a more inclusive one in which everyone's human rights must be respected,' Bitti said. 'We understand that human beings share more commonalty than difference. And we need to come up with solutions that maximise inclusion, fairness and safety in elite sport, but it is very difficult. 

'Two of the concepts are totally incompatible in many sports, inclusion and fairness. At the top, sport is not inclusive. When you beat someone, you screw them over.'

Binary spokeswoman, Kirralie Smith, said it was good some officials are taking note of genuine concerns.

“All of the rules and guidelines surrounding sport must be reviewed. It is not difficult to choose safety and fairness in sport while still being inclusive,” she said.

“The simple and clearest option is to stick to biological sex categories while allowing males who appropriate womanhood to compete as males or in an open or mixed competition.

“There is never a situation where they need to compete as female.”