ANTHONY WATSON: 2024 Olympics in Paris will have more restrictions on trans athletes

In response to public concerns surrounding the participation of biological males in women’s sports, the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics have implemented heightened restrictions on transgender-identifying athletes.

Previously, the International Olympic Committee had guidelines allowing biological men identifying as women to compete in the women’s category if their testosterone levels were below 10 nmol/L for at least one year before competing. The new regulations add an additional criterion, requiring athletes who identify as transgender to have changed their “gender identity” before the age of 12.

This decision mirrors the direction taken by various sports governing bodies, aiming to address the contentious issue of biological males competing against women while still accommodating transgender-identifying athletes. 

Many of these bodies now mandate athletes to undergo hormonal therapy and/or gender reassignment surgery. USA Boxing recently adopted a similar policy, stipulating testosterone level requirements and the necessity of gender reassignment surgery for transgender-identifying athletes.

Last year, the World Athletics Council, governing athletics, prohibited trans-identifying athletes who did not transition until after puberty from participating in high-level female competitions.

“It became apparent that there was little support within the sport for the option that was first presented to stakeholders, which required transgender athletes to maintain their testosterone levels below 2.5 nmol/L for 24 months to be eligible to compete internationally in the female category,” World Athletics explained after deciding to strengthen transgender restrictions.

The International Cycling Union also followed suit, preventing trans-identifying athletes who underwent puberty before transitioning from competing, while introducing an “open” category for both male-identifying and transgender athletes.

This decision also follows the Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympics featuring the first transgender-identifying athlete, New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard. Hubbard was unable to complete his lifts and eventually lost the competition. However, he was 43 years old at the time, the oldest competitor at the Olympics that year. Hubbard should not have been allowed to participate in the first place considering the fact he took a spot from an actual woman. Under the newly introduced guidelines for Paris 2024, Hubbard would be ineligible to compete.

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.


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