(PresidentialWire.com)- According to a new report and guidelines from the UK’s Sports Councils Equality Group, despite claims to the contrary, transgender athletes do have an unfair advantage in women’s sports, and a new “Universal” category specifically for transgender athletes should be introduced.
The report concluded that even when testosterone levels have been artificially reduced in male athletes, these transgender “women” still have the advantage over actual women in some sports.
The group argues that in order to protect female sports while also ensuring transgender participation, there should be a creation of a “Universal” or “Open” category in which trans athletes can compete.
The International Olympic Committee guidelines currently allow transgender biological males to compete in women’s sports provided their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least a year before their first competition.
But the review from the Sports Councils on Equality – which includes UK Sport, Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport Scotland and Sport Northern Ireland – determined that testosterone suppression doesn’t take away the physical advantages biological males have over actual females. And because of this, they believe it is not possible to guarantee safety or competitive fairness in some sports.
The highly anticipated report, which took 18 months to compile, reviews the latest research and is based on interviews with three hundred people and 175 organizations.
The Sports Councils are not regulatory bodies, and this report is for guidance within the UK only. It does not apply to international or elite sports. Even so, this is nonetheless a significant contribution to the ongoing debate over whether transgender athletes should participate against biological women.
On average, adult male athletes have a 10-12 percent performance advantage over female competitors in swimming and running events. That advantage increases to 20 percent in jumping events and 35 percent in strength-based sports like weightlifting.
The Sports Councils conclude that individual sports will have to consider what the guidelines mean for them as the issues under consideration will vary. For example, for collision and combat sports, the guidelines highlight potential safety considerations.
What’s more, each individual sport will have to consider what they will prioritize – transgender inclusion, protecting the female sports category, or establishing new formats by adapting rules to include non-contact versions of team sports that allow everyone to play.