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World Athletics Council Bans Biological Male Athletes From Competing Against Females

Officials say the policy update is to protect the integrity of female athletics

Under it’s new transgender regulations, the World Athletics Council has banned male-to-female transgender athletes who have been through male puberty from competing in female competitions.

Council officials said the decision was made after consulting with various stakeholders, including Member Federations, the Global Athletics Coaches Academy and Athletes’ Commission, the International Olympic Committee, and representatives from transgender and human rights groups.

The updated policy is a win for women’s rights organizations that have been fighting against biological men competing in women’s sports.

“Decisions are always difficult when they involve conflicting needs and rights between different groups, but we continue to take the view that we must maintain fairness for female athletes above all other considerations,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said in a press release. “We will be guided in this by the science around physical performance and male advantage which will inevitably develop over the coming years.”

Coe added, “As more evidence becomes available, we will review our position, but we believe the integrity of the female category in athletics is paramount.”

World Athletics says that it has “more than ten years of research and evidence of the physical advantages that these athletes bring to the female category.” Officials say the new policy is in place “to prioritise fairness and the integrity of the female competition before inclusion.”

In a document obtained by CNN earlier this year, World Athletics stated that even after an entire year of gender affirming hormone therapy, biological men “retain an advantage in muscle mass, volume, and strength over cis women.”

Over the next 12 months, the organization will establish a working group to consider the issue of transgender inclusion at its events and make recommendations to the council.

Women competing against men in sporting events has become a major culture war flashpoint in the U.S.

Last month, Wyoming became the 19th state to bar biological men from competing against biological women in women’s sports.

Terry Schilling, president of the American Principles Project, issued a statement in support of the legislation, saying, “It’s not at all ‘draconian’ or ‘discriminatory’ to limit girls’ athletics to girls; in fact, it’s simple commonsense that polling shows most Americans agree with. It’s unfortunate some of our leaders have been duped into believing such a policy is somehow controversial.”

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