Transgender women should not compete in women’s sport – says Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he doesn’t believe transgender women should participate in women’s sports.
Currently, IOC guidance states that there is so assumption that a transgender athlete possesses any unfair advantage in female events.
The International Olympic Committee have devolved rules to individual Olympic sports to make their own regulations around transgender participation.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now stated his beliefs, claiming transgenders should not be competing in female events.
In a statement where he also spoke about conversion therapy, Johnson said:
“I don’t think biological males should be competing in female sporting events. Maybe that’s a controversial thing to say, but it just seems to me to be sensible.
“I also happen to think that women should have spaces – whether it’s in hospitals, prison or changing rooms – which are dedicated to women. That’s as far as my thinking has developed on this issue.
“If that puts me in conflict with some others, then we have got to work it all out. It doesn’t mean I’m not immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender, to transition and it’s vital we give people the maximum love and support in making those decisions.
“These are complex issues and they can’t be solved with one swift, easy piece of legislation. It takes a lot of thought to get this right.”
In other sports, rules differ and there is no clear path for transgender athletes.
World Rugby has banned transgender athletes from competing at an elite level.
The Rugby Football Union in England allows transgender women to play under certain testosterone conditions.
Medical experts have criticised the IOC’s guidelines, with 38 doctors and nurses signing a statement stating that relying on testosterone levels in female sports is not enough to determine whether a trans athlete has a sporting advantage.
The counter argument to the statement is that is relies heavily on human rights arguments and doesn’t consider medicine or science.
In 2021, Sport Wales, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and UK Sport released guidance after 18 months of consultation.
The report read: “for many sports, the inclusion of transgender people, fairness and safety cannot co-exist in a single competitive model”.
It adds: “testosterone suppression is unlikely to guarantee fairness between transgender women and natal females in gender-affected sports.”
“There are retained differences in strength, stamina and physique between the average woman compared with the average transgender woman or non-binary person registered male at birth”.
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