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British Rowing bans transgender women from competing in female category

British Rowing announced that it is banning transgender women from competing in the women’s category of its events. Transgender athletes who were assigned female at birth (and may now identify as transgender male) may compete in the women’s category, though only as long as they are not undergoing hormone treatment.

Photo by Bluewater Sweden from Unsplash.com

More hate for transgender women.

British Rowing announced that it is banning transgender women from competing in the women’s category of its events, claiming that it changed its policy following “extensive and ongoing research and consultation”.

For the governing body, transgender athletes who were assigned female at birth (and may now identify as transgender male) may compete in the women’s category, though only as long as they are not undergoing hormone treatment.

Showing an obtuse insensitivity, British Rowing claimed that the discriminatory policy is an effort to show its commitment to promote “an environment in which rowing is accessible and inclusive and to ensuring that we provide opportunities and enjoyment for everyone… In order to achieve this in a fair manner, we need to establish conditions for competition that guarantee fair and meaningful competition by placing necessary and proportionate restrictions on eligibility.”

To appear non-discriminatory against transgender women in particular, British Rowing created an “open” category, which will be available to transgender and non-binary rowers in competition events. Competition organizers may also offer a “mixed” category, though – again it emphasized – half of the crew must meet the women’s category guidelines.

In the past, British Rowing allowed transgender women to participate in female events if their testosterone level was below a certain level for two years. The changes will take effect at the end of the season on September 11, and will apply to athletes representing Great Britain or England at international events, including the Olympics and Paralympics.

The anti-transgender eligibility policy of British Rowing follows similar moves from other sports governing bodies, including World Athletics, British Cycling and swimming’s Fina.

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