A transexual man has entered history books as the first male to win a women’s world cycling title.
The man, who has changed his name to Rachel McKinnon, brought home gold for Canada in the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Masters Track Cycling World Championships last month.
Bronze medallist of the race, Jennifer Wagner, argued that the race in Los Angeles was “definitely NOT fair”.
The six-foot tall winner, McKinnon, is a biological male but ‘identifies’ as a woman and campaigns on trans issues.
He said: “I’m immensely proud of my accomplishment. I’ve received an overwhelming level of support and media attention.”
Transgender athletes first competed at Olympic-level sport in 2004 under certain medical requirements.
The race has sparked fresh concerns for fair play and the serious problems involved in allowing men to participate in women’s sports.
Writing for leading bike racing magazine VeloNews, Fred Dreier pointed out that “the fastest female marathon runners are slower than top males” and “female Olympic weightlifters can lift less weight than top males”.
Professor of human genetics at the University of California, Eric Vilain added that it is not possible to “turn a man’s body into a woman’s body”.
UCI is just one of several athletic governing bodies that now allow transsexuals to compete as members of the opposite sex despite significant opposition from other female racers.
Others have shared that they have been scared to speak up publicly against the changes, for fear of being labelled discriminatory.
Runner-up Wagner wrote on social media: “There’s a group of us working on getting the rules changed but we are going to fight it offline, not in the name-calling angry world of social media.”