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Monday, September 26, 2022

About Time: British Triathlon Federation Will Create An ‘Open’ Category That Can Accommodate Transgender Athletes

ScienceAbout Time: British Triathlon Federation Will Create An 'Open' Category That Can Accommodate Transgender Athletes

It is now confirmed.

The British Triathlon Federation will create an “open” category in January for everyone regardless of their gender. Transgender athletes would then be able to compete with both biological male and female competitors.

Competitive women’s events will still be reserved for those who are female at birth, the BBC reported.

“Our policy outlines that Triathlon is a sport for everyone and that transphobic behavior will not be tolerated. It confirms that Triathlon is a gender-affected sport and so for competitive events (those races that have prizes, times, and/or rankings) for athletes over the age of 12, there will be two categories; a Female Category, (for those who are the female sex at birth), and an Open Category, (for all individuals including male, transgender and those non-binary who were male sex at birth,” according to a statement made by the BTF.

The governing body has assured future participants that the transgender policy was made by consulting the latest research, the community, key groups, and individuals. It was developed following a survey of more than 3,000 members — 80% favored a protected female category.

This new policy will replace the guidelines made in 2018, which allowed trans women to compete against biological female athletes if they suppressed their testosterone levels.

According to the British Triathlon’s policy document, “the science illustrates the physiological, biological and subsequent sporting performance advantages that adult males enjoy over adult females – due to the effects of testosterone during male puberty – is unequivocal”.

“In addition, the scientific community broadly agrees that the majority of the physiological/biological advantages brought about by male puberty are retained [either wholly or partially] by transwomen post-transition,” the 6-page document adds.

A triathlon is a multisport race consisting of swimming, cycling, and running over various distances.

 “Where this is a competitive activity, fairness is paramount. Our sport is gender-affected,” said Andy Salmon, chief executive of British Triathlon.

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