World Athletics makes participation fair for elite females

A decision by World Athletics to exclude transgender athletes from competing in the female category means that males will no longer be able to compete in elite female athletics competitions. They can, as always, compete in the male divisions.

“World Athletics (WA) president Sebastian Coe told a news conference the decision to exclude transgender women was based "on the overarching need to protect the female category".

 The governing body had previously floated the option of transgender athletes being allowed to compete in the female category if they maintained testosterone levels below 2.5 nanomoles per litre for 24 months.

 But it said it became apparent there was little support within the sport for that proposal.

"We're not saying no forever," Coe said, adding the governing body would form a task force to study the issue of trans inclusion that would be chaired by a transgender athlete.”

There is little support for the lowering of testosterone because doing so does not negate height, fast twitch muscle fibres, reach, heart and lung capacity, blood volume and a whole host of other advantages males have by virtue of being male.

Besides, taking drugs to qualify for a division is usually referred to as cheating.

Female divisions exist because there are observable differences between males and females. Males have an unfair advantage in sport and female categories deserve protection. No male will ever lose one week a month of training or competitive advantage due to a menstrual cycle. Females deserve a fair and equal playing field.

Males can compete in the male category. If absolutely necessary, create a third category for trans or mixed competitions.

Athletics Australia will have to abide by events run by World Athletics.

At present they are one of the major sporting bodies in this country that encourage and enable men to participate in female divisions. They boast that World Athletics rules do not apply for community level participation.

Examples of Competitions where the World Athletics Eligibility Rules DON’T Apply

Category F meets which may include:

  • Weekly club competitions such as Shield meets, Interclub etc. – please check with each Member Association for further details.

Community Events / non-World Athletics Categorised Events which may include:

  • Events conducted by clubs
  • Winter Cross Country events
  • Events such as Community Fun Runs organised by private organisations
  • Note that some mass participation events may include elite sections where athletes may be required to comply with the World Athletics Eligibility Rules – see the Competition Policy and event specific websites for further details or contact your Member Association.
  • In all cases, Athletes should ensure that they check the relevant calendar listings and event information which will detail any World Athletics Categorisation applicable to each event.

Athletics Australia must change their policy in response to this decision from World Athletics, in order to reflect fairness and to protect girls and women in sport.