Weightlifting champion explains why males don’t belong in women’s sport

Deborah Acason nee Lovely is one of Australia’s most accomplished athletes. As one of only two athletes in the entire Commonwealth she has participated in five consecutive Commonwealth Games winning gold in 2006, three silvers in 2002 and bronze in 2010. Deborah is a dual Olympian and competed in seven world events.

Deborah was a member of the first ever women’s team in weightlifting at a Commonwealth level. She is an elite athlete who has also competed at high levels in cycling, discus and rugby.

Deborah’s name should be known in every Australian household for her incredible accomplishments.

Instead, more people recognise the name Laurel (Gavin) Hubbard, the New Zealand male weightlifter who competed in the female division in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Instead, more people swoon over former swimmers Keiren Perkins and Grant Hackett who believe that males should have access to women’s sports and changerooms.

Whose voice would you consider more important in a discussion about women’s sport?

Late last year a secret round table about transgender athletes in sport was hosted by Perkins. Deborah was the ONLY female athlete invited to attend in a group of 80 who represented trans interests.

Deborah’s testimony and experience are powerful, scientifically based and truthful. Recently the female superstar addressed an audience to explain why it is never fair to allow males to compete in female divisions. 

When Hubbard was permitted to compete in the female category, all he had to do was change his name, his legal documents, not compete in the male division for 12 months and have testosterone levels below 10 n/moles per litre. Keep in mind the average female elite athlete has 0.8-1.3 n/moles of testosterone per litre. Seems fair doesn’t it?

The size of his hands, feet, reach, muscle fibres and many other advantages of being male were completely disregarded. He didn’t even begin to identify as female until he was 34-years-old and had already won titles in the male category.

Deborah explained the obvious disadvantage the female athletes have in Olympic competition – menstrual cycles, pregnancy and breastfeeding. These are factors male athletes never have to contend with.

A female Olympian loses one week a month, which is three months a year, which is one whole year every four years – an Olympic cycle – due to her menstrual cycle. During menstruation a female is at greater risk of injury and has a lowered capacity for strength. No male will ever have to endure that disadvantage.

Deborah also shared this slide from www.genderresourceguide.com:

It is more than worth your time to listen to this incredible Australian champion. She is articulate and knowledgeable and above all experienced. Her story should be shared far and wide. Her voice should be heard across many platforms. All sporting organisations need to listen to her voice of reason and act immediately to protect women’s sport.

It leaves you asking, what is the point of having female divisions if men can compete in them?