Transgender in sport, the IOC changes the rules: “No to testosterone tests and analyzes”

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Tokyo has been the scene of a huge breakthrough with participation in Olympic Games by Quinn and by Laurel Hubbar, the first transgender athletes in the history of the Games. And now that the wall has collapsed, the IOC has decided to continue running along the path of inclusion.

In fact, the new guidelines state that “everyone has the right to practice sports without suffering discrimination, in respect of health, safety and personal dignity”. The new decalogue, which at the moment is not binding on the federations but should become one after the Winter Olympics scheduled in Beijing in 2022, opens with a rule immediately called “Inclusiveness”.

“Anyone”, we read, “regardless of gender identity, sex and its possible variations, has the right to participate in sports competitions”. The text, drawn up after having consulted over 250 people including experts and sportsmen, also specifies that “athletes will be able to choose to compete in the category that best represents their kind of election”.

Obviously, the new regulation also establishes “justice” criteria. «It will in any case be verified», it is written in the second passage, «that there is not an excessive disadvantage / competitive advantage among the athletes participating in the same category. Only in the case of scientific evidence attesting to physical superiority with respect to the reference category can restrictions on participation be applied».

The introduction of this new principle leads the IOC to make a decision that changes the course of sporting history and beyond. “No athlete, whether man, woman or in a condition of transition between one sex and the other, may be subjected to medical tests that verify the gender they belong to.».

This means that testing of testosterone levels to determine whether a person should compete in men’s or women’s competitions will be prohibited. Quinn, the Canadian soccer champion is satisfied. “The new guidelines reflect something we have known for a long time: that athletes like me participate in sports competitions without any advantage. Our humanity deserves to be respected ».

As always, however, there are also those who think differently. Eg Joanna Harper, doctor, sportswoman and author of the book Sporting Gender – The History, Science end Stories of Transgender and Intersex Athletes. “Transgender women,” she says, “are usually taller, thicker and stronger than cisgender women, and in many sports these characteristics are a clear advantage.”

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:

– Tokyo 2020, the most rainbow Olympics ever

– Transsexual athletes, Vladimir Luxuria: “In competition with women, but without advantages”


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