The national governing body of cycling in the UK has announced a ban on transgender competitors taking part in women’s races in the country.
British Cycling says that the ban will come into effect by the end of the year, with a new separate ‘open category’ being introduced that anyone of any gender can compete in.
Chief Jon Dutton told reporters “We have taken a view that this is absolutely about being inclusive for all,” adding “We’ve created a new open category that anyone has the ability to ride in and also a non-competitive policy that is absolutely inclusive and accessible.”
“We will not tolerate any form of discrimination in moving forward with this policy,” Dutton added, further noting “it’s really important that we support, we empathise, we are compassionate to the riders that are affected by this policy change.”
The move comes following several trans cyclists dominating women’s events in recent months.
After biological male Austin Killips, won the women’s category of the Tour of the Gila bicycle race in New Mexico earlier this month, the world cycling governing body Union Cycliste Internationale defended its transgender policy, stating “The UCI acknowledges that transgender athletes may wish to compete in accordance with their gender identity,” and adding “The UCI rules are based on the latest scientific knowledge and have been applied in a consistent manner.”
Commenting on the move by British Cycling, trans competitor Emily Bridges called it a “violent act” and “furthering a genocide” against trans people:
Bridges has drawn criticism after setting records in men’s cycling before coming out as a transgender woman in October 2020 and beginning to compete in women’s events.
As we have documented (see links below), other sports have placed bans on trans competitors in women’s events, with legendary sportswomen including Martina Navratilova and Sharron Davies speaking out in support.
Navratilova and Davies both responded to today’s news:
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