The International Olympic Committee is considering new rules for transgender athletes in response to concerns from professional female athletes.
With the very small number of trans athletes participating at the local level, the topic of trans women playing in sports has led to regulations across the U.S. that restrict participation.
Transgender Swimmer Experience
Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer, previously made news, prompting discussion about whether testosterone levels can offer trans women an unfair advantage. Her experience was one of the factors that led the Olympics to review its rules.
According to Rich McHugh of NewsNation, “I hear that testosterone levels alone won’t be part of the deciding factor and that they’re going to rely on a larger set of criteria now.”
The IOC is providing recommendations but leaves the final judgment to each sport’s governing body. In addition to being recommended to “examine particular moral, social, cultural, and legal elements that may be relevant in their setting,” governing bodies are also encouraged to ensure that no athletes have an unfair advantage.
The rules, also include athletes’ mental health must also be considered, and athletes should not be regularly rejected based on their gender identity, appearance, or sexual preferences. The IOC also warned against pressuring athletes to receive particular medical care to be eligible.