Transgender people are not allowed to compete in the female division at international competitions, according to World Athletics, the world’s governing body for athletics. The ruling body announced on Thursday that it has strengthened testosterone restrictions for other athletes.
From March 31, transgender athletes who have experienced male puberty will not be permitted to participate in female world ranking competitions, according to Sebastian Coe, ‘president of World Athletics.’
“The overarching necessity to protect the female category led the decision to exclude trans women athletes,” he continued.
The governing body’s council also decided to reduce the maximum plasma testosterone concentration allowed for athletes with “Differences in Sex Development (DSD).” Before competing in the female category, transgender athletes had to lower their blood testosterone level to a maximum of 5 Nano moles per litre and maintain it there for a continuous 12-month period.
Compared to before, DSD athletes must now maintain a blood testosterone level of 2.5 nanomoles per litre for at least 24 months in all events in order to compete.
If transgender athletes also kept their testosterone levels below 2.5 nanomoles per litre for 24 months, World Athletics had previously proposed allowing them to compete in the female division. However, the governing body stated that it became clear that this plan did not enjoy much support within the sport.
According to Reuters, the governing body has instituted temporary rules for athletes who are currently competing outside of the prohibited sports. These athletes will have to reduce their testosterone levels to 2.5 nanomoles per litre for a period of six months.
At the World Athletics Championships in August, a number of women won’t be able to compete because of the new rules.
Sebastian Coe stated that a working group would be established over a period of one year to further investigate the problem of trans inclusion when he revealed the new amendments. A transgender sportsperson will preside over it, he continued.
The ruling body’s decision comes after a comparable action by World Aquatics in 2022. In June 2022, the swimming industry’s regulating organisation decided to forbid transgender women from competing in international competitions if they had gone through any aspect of male puberty.