Transgender women will be banned from competing in women’s cycling in UK, making the men’s category an open category.
New policy change ends transgender cyclist Emily Bridges’ hopes of competing in women’s competitions.
It has been 14 months since the 22-year-old was banned from participating in her first women’s derby – when she was due to face five-time Olympic champion Dame Laura Kenny – after telling the World Cycling Federation that she was ineligible race, reports Sky.
Today’s policy announcement, which is set to come into effect by the end of the year, only applies to UK cycling events.
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body of cycling, has not yet announced a new licensing body for transgender people.
British Cycling has apologized for the “uncertainty and upset that many have felt” since their policy on transgender and non-binary participation was suspended in April 2022 for research and consultation reasons.
Asked whether the new policy is discriminatory, British Cycling chief executive Jon Dutton told Sky News: “We have taken a view that this is absolutely about being inclusive for all. We’ve created a new open category that anyone has the ability to ride in and also a non-competitive policy that is absolutely inclusive and accessible. We will not tolerate any form of discrimination in moving forward with this policy.”
British Cycling said the female category will apply to those riders who were assigned a female at birth, as well as transgender males who have not yet started hormone therapy.
Bridges, who set the national junior 25-mile record in 2018, came out as a transgender woman in October 2020 and began hormone therapy last year to lower her testosterone levels.
She released a statement on Instagram following British Cycling’s announcement.
Speaking head-to-head with British Cycling, she said: “Cycling is still one of the whitest, straightest sports out there, and you couldn’t care less,” reports Sky.
British Cycling aligns with British triathlon, which last year announced plans for an “open category” for men, transgender women and non-binary athletes.
International athletics and swimming federations have banned male puberty athletes from participating in international women’s competitions.
Mr Dutton said: “It is very difficult. It’s divisive. It’s emotive. It’s affecting human beings. And we absolutely fully understand and appreciate that. So it has been a difficult process,” reports Sky.
Tell us your thoughts in the Facebook post and share this with your friends.