Commonwealth Games to allow biological male cyclists to compete in women's category

"As far as the Commonwealth Games is now concerned, she can compete on the same terms as she would be allowed by the Union Cycliste Internationale."

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

The Commonwealth Games will allow trans women cyclists to compete in its women's category. The games will take place in Birmingham, England in 2022.

According to Telegraph, a person who once competed in the male category as a male is now "in serious contention to be picked following the green light by authorities."

That cyclist person has yet to accept a place in competition.

Concerns have been raised by many over the controversial issue, especially after the first-place finish of biological male swimmer Lia Thomas in the NCAA women's 500 freestyle. Thomas is the first biological male to win a women's NCAA Division I championship. Thomas has identified as a woman since 2019, prior to which Thomas was on the UPenn men's swim team.

The Commonwealth Games will defer to competitor's national governing bodies for cycling as to the testosterone levels required for biological males who identify as women and wish to compete in women's international cycling. The national governing body for the competitor in question requires that biological male's testosterone levels must be below 5nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to competition.

"As far as the Commonwealth Games is now concerned, she can compete on the same terms as she would be allowed by the Union Cycliste Internationale, the world governing body," the Telegraph reports.

The International Olympic Committee had previously required biological male athletes who self-identified as women to maintain a testosterone level of 10nmol/L, but changed that requirement this year to defer to the national governing bodies of each sport for each country that sends competitors. This means that biological male competitors on women's Olympic teams could have drastically different testosterone levels depending on the requirements of their individual nations.

"The CGF will work in close partnership with the relevant international federations to establish qualification and eligibility criteria for athlete participation at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games," the federation told the Telegraph.

They say the policy "will be in keeping with principles established in the IOC framework on Fairness, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations."

"The rules do not differ greatly from those applied at the event in 2018, which were held in Australia," reports the Daily Mail.

"At those Games, trans weight lifter, Laurel Hubbard, qualified for the Australian team in the 90+kg category. However, an elbow injury ruled her out of the competition." Hubbard went on to represent New Zealand in women's weight-lifting in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In 2019, Rachel McKinnon became the source of controversy after McKinnon won the world championship and said that women who complain about her are "losers."

McKinnon, a biological male, was challenged by former champion Victoria Hood who argued that because McKinnon was born as male, McKinnon has an unfair advantage in the competition.

"It is not complicated, the science is there and it says that it is unfair. The male body, which has been through male puberty, still retains its advantage, that doesn’t go away. I have sympathy with them. They have a right to do sport but not a right to go into any category they want," said Hood who also manages the female British team.

McKinnon, however, argues that McKinnon has a right to be allowed to compete and that medically, McKinnon is considered to be a female. This because documentation has been changed to reflect McKinnon's gender identity as opposed to McKinnon's biological sex.

"All my medical records say, female. My doctor treats me as a female person, my racing license says female, but people who oppose my existence still want to think of me as male . . . So, if we want to say, that I believe you’re a woman for all of society, except for this massive central part that is sport, then that’s not fair," claimed McKinnon.


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