Rugby referees are quitting the sport over fears that allowing trans men to play in women’s teams will lead to serious injuries, it is reported.
Refs have been told they cannot challenge ‘bearded players’ who are playing in women’s matches.
Former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies MBE accused the sport of double standards.
Under England Rugby Football Union (RFU) rules, trans players must undergo blood tests to ensure their testosterone is below a set level.
However referees are unable to check whether a player has been cleared by the RFU and must take clubs at their word.
One ref told The Sunday Times they were being forced to “prioritise hurt feelings over broken bones”.
Another said that to even question some players was to be labelled a bigot.
Inclusion at all costs
Sharron Davies described how her 11-year-old daughter was banned from playing rugby with boys because of safety concerns.
She asked how the sport’s governing bodies could therefore think it was acceptable for a biological man to play rugby with women.
Dr Nicola Williams from Fair Play for Women said that the RFU “have been put under tremendous pressure by well funded and powerful trans lobby groups telling them it is inclusion at any cost”.
Last month, former British Olympic gold-medallist Mary Peters hit out at pressure to allow men who claim to be female to compete against women.
Lady Peters, who won gold in the women’s pentathlon in 1972, said men who identify as female cannot “compete on equal terms” with women.