The International Skating Union (ISU) detailed the eligibility criteria for transgender athletes eyeing to take part in its events, adding that it eyes to promote “the principles of fair competition.”
ISU’s eligibility criteria for transgender athletes actually follows the recommendations set out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The focus continues to be based on the assumption that those assigned male at birth continue to be “stronger” because of their “biological sex”, so that here, athletes who are transitioning from male to female:
- will be unable to change their declaration for at least four years, and
- will have to show that their testosterone level in serum has been below a certain level for at least 12 months prior to their first competition
ISU stated that “this policy is in place for the protection of women in sport and the promotion of the principles of fair competition.”
Meanwhile, skaters who transition from female to male can compete in the men’s category without restriction, as long as ISU receives a written and signed declaration of their gender identity.
The IOC allowed transgender athletes to participate at the Olympics since 2004. In 2015, the body came up with recommendations for including transgender athletes, with a new “framework” expected to be released soon to take into account newer scientific studies.