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Transgender Mountain Biker Kate Weatherly Hits Out At ‘Horrifying’ New Competitor Rules

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Transgender Mountain Biker Kate Weatherly Hits Out At ‘Horrifying’ New Competitor Rules

Mountain biker Kate Weatherly has hit out at 'horrifying' new rules which have banned transgender athletes from competing in certain women's sports.

The world governing body for swimming, FINA, recently voted to support a new policy that will restrict most trans athletes from competing in women's swimming at an elite level.

Trans women will only be allowed to compete in women's swimming if they 'have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 or before age 12' depending on which occurred later.

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Rugby league's international governing body, the IRL, recently followed suit and banned transgender players from international women's games while it works out what its inclusion policy will be.

Weatherly is a transgender athlete herself, with the New Zealand mountain biker telling 1News it was 'horrifying' that the debate over women's sport was slating trans women.

Mountain biker Kate Weatherly has spoken out against new sporting rules restricting trans athletes from competing in women's sports. Credit: Alamy
Mountain biker Kate Weatherly has spoken out against new sporting rules restricting trans athletes from competing in women's sports. Credit: Alamy

The mountain biker transitioned in 2018 and argued that FINA's ruling 'essentially ban trans women from being able to compete'.

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She said: "People talk about the fact that we’re coming in and ruining women’s sports - but there are way bigger issues that women’s sports face.

"The idea that a few trans women coming into a sport - and often times not even winning - and that’s what’s going to ruin women’s sports is pretty horrifying.

"Because people are so focused on the advantages, they kind of ignore the fact that there actually are disadvantages that also come along with a transition."

Weatherly said the suggestions that trans athletes should not compete in women's sports was part of an attempt 'to separate trans women from cis women' when the real focus should be that 'we are all women'.

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Transgender swimmers like Lia Thomas will now have to compete in an 'open' category rather than the women's events. Credit: Alamy
Transgender swimmers like Lia Thomas will now have to compete in an 'open' category rather than the women's events. Credit: Alamy

Other sports may be lining up new rules which restrict the ability of transgender athletes to compete, as the BBC reports that athletics could follow the lead of swimming and rugby league.

World Athletics president Lord Coe said there would be more research done into the impact testosterone has on performance before a decision was made, but said when it came to sport that 'fairness is non-negotiable'.

He also said World Athletics 'have scheduled a discussion on our regulations with our council at the end of the year', meaning new regulations could be in place going into 2023.

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World Athletics has already introduced rules which require a cap on levels of testosterone for transgender athletes in some women's events.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers 

Featured Image Credit: 1News/Alamy

Topics: News, LGBTQ, Sport

Joe Harker
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