Female weightlifters ‘told to be quiet’ in face of male competitor

An Olympic weightlifter has said that female competitors were silenced when they voiced concerns at allowing a man to compete in the women’s event.

Tracey Lambrechs, a New Zealand Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, said that it will be unfair if Laurel Hubbard, previously called Gavin, is selected to compete at the Olympic Games in place of a woman.

Transgender guidelines already permit Hubbard to participate, and changes to qualifying requirements mean that he could now become the first transgender athlete to compete at the games.

‘Be quiet’

Lambrechs said: “I’m quite disappointed, quite disappointed for the female athlete who will lose out on that spot”.

She continued: “I’ve had female weightlifters come up to me and say, ‘what do we do? This isn’t fair, what do we do?’ Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do because every time we voice it we get told to be quiet.”

every time we voice it we get told to be quiet

The International Olympic Committee stated that it is reviewing its transgender guidelines to address “perceived tension between fairness/safety and inclusion/non-discrimination”.

Athletes are currently permitted to compete in women’s events on the basis of their testosterone levels.

Going for gold

In 2017, the New Zealand Olympic team was criticised for allowing Hubbard to compete in the women’s event in the Australian International competition.

He won gold in the over 90kg division with a combined total of 268kg – almost 20kg more than the female runner-up, Samoan athlete Luniarra Sipaia.

Hubbard previously competed in men’s weightlifting before living as a woman.

Also see:


Caitlyn Jenner says men should not play women’s sport

Man breaks four women’s weightlifting world records

Olympic rules hand trans athletes ‘unfair’ advantage

Related Resources