SAVANAH HERNANDEZ REPORTS: Trans cyclist blames ‘right wing cabal’ after men banned from competing in women's sports

Killips recently took first place in two women’s cycling competitions.

Savanah Hernandez Texas, US

Austin Killips, the transgender athlete who recently took first in two female cycling competitions, is calling a recent policy update banning transgender athletes from competing in women’s cycling competitions a denial of opportunity, stating that the “right wing cabal” is to blame for the decision.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced that they would be updating their policy on allowing transgender athletes to compete against women, after the policy came under fire when Killips beat out his female runner up by almost five minutes in the North Carolina Belgian Waffle Ride.

The new policy, announced last Friday, now states “female transgender athletes who have transitioned after (male) puberty will be prohibited from participating in women's events."

However, per the UCI, athletes who do still wish to compete but do not meet the conditions to participate in the women’s competition will still have the opportunity to compete in the men’s category that is being reclassified as the “men’s/open” category.

While the UCI detailed that this decision was updated due to “scientific uncertainties” surrounding trans athletes, Killips took to social media to call out the update as a “denial of opportunity."

“I am devastated by the UCI's decision to renege on the policy and framework they previously set out for inclusion,” Killips wrote in an Instagram post, “No one should be denied the opportunity to chase the same joy that I and others have found through racing,” he continued.

He also took to his Substack, writing “I’m one of the figures that pushed the limits of inclusion for this particular moment and a cabal of right wingers who want nothing but the worst for the world were able to successfully weaponize it”.

The decision to update the policy became necessary after Killips recently took first in two women’s cycling competitions. Back in May, Killips took first in the Tour of Gila cycling competition in New Mexico. He then made waves again in June after taking first in the North Carolina 131-mile Belgian Waffle Ride, beating out his female runner-up by almost five minutes.

Second-place competitor and biological woman, Paige Onweller, shared that Killips power was “not comparable” to female cyclists in the race and that a “separate category” for transgender athletes should be considered.

The UCI previously defended its decision to allow Killips to compete, but reconsidered after his initial win during the Tour of Gila race.

The new rule will go into effect on July 17th.

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