World Triathlon trans policy allows men to compete against women

Men will be allowed to compete against women in international triathlon events under the new transgender policy issued by the discipline’s global governing body.

World Triathlon’s decision runs counter to recent policies introduced by other sporting bodies, including British Triathlon, which said males should not be allowed to compete in the female category.

The International Consortium on Female Sport (ICFS) has objected to the changes, saying: “Allowing males into the female category is not compatible with fairness for female athletes.”

Unfair advantage

The new policy, which applies to international competitions, will require an athlete’s testosterone level to be below a certain level for at least 24 months before competing in the women’s category.

However, the IFCS said studies have shown that “no testosterone level is capable of undoing what male puberty did to the body, and therefore, no testosterone level is capable of suppressing the male advantage”.

The organisation said: “The solution is simple: competing strictly in accordance with biological sex maximizes inclusion and protects against such discrimination.”

It added: “Maintaining sex-based categories enables female athletes to enjoy fair competition with equal opportunity to access and participate in sport”.

Protecting women’s sports

In July, British Triathlon announced that “only people who are the female sex at birth will be eligible to compete in the Female category.”

International sporting bodies for cycling, swimming and rugby league have recently strengthened rules to protect women’s sports.

The IFCS called on World Triathlon to rescind its new policy and create “a better one that is based on science in order to preserve and protect the female category”.

Also see:


RFU policy finally prioritises women’s safety

Sharron Davies: RFU inaction puts ‘female athletes in danger’

British public: ‘Keep trans athletes out of women’s sport’

International sports bodies strengthen protections for women’s sport

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