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World Triathlon steps up criteria for transgender athletes to enter women’s tournaments

To compete in the female category in an Elite or Age-Group triathlon competition, a Transgender athlete must demonstrate that the concentration of testosterone in the athlete’s serum has been less than 2.5 nmol/L continuously for a period of at least 24 months

MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. The Executive Board of the global body of triathlon, World Triathlon, approved on Thursday a tougher set of criteria for transgender athletes seeking to qualify for international women’s triathlon tournaments, the press office of World Triathlon said in a statement.

According to the statement from World Triathlon on new regulations: "To compete in the female category in an Elite or Age-Group triathlon competition, a Transgender athlete must demonstrate that the concentration of testosterone in the athlete’s serum has been less than 2.5 nmol/L continuously for a period of at least 24 months."

"Also, at least 48 months must have elapsed since the Transgender athlete has competed as a male in any sporting competition," the statement reads adding that the new "Transgender Policy was approved by the majority of the Executive Board."

Marisol Casado, the president of the World Triathlon and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said commenting on the decision that "We have been studying this matter for over a year, we have listened to the voices of all World Triathlon stakeholders, and I can only thank all the Committees and Commissions for the detailed work carried out by them to inform this policy."

"We are a small International Federation, but one that has always had inclusion and gender balance in our DNA," Casado continued. "The Policy that we have just approved shows that we are prioritizing the fairness principle but showing inclusiveness."

"It is fully aligned with the IOC’s recommendation, and similar to what other IFs [International Federations] have done in the last months," president of World Triathlon noted.

"We will of course monitor the situation and the evolution of this policy, and we are open to reviewing and discussing it as much as necessary over time, as this subject is still evolving and we need to be flexible," Casado added.

Reached by a TASS correspondent to comment on World Triathlon’s decision, Chairman of the State Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament) Committee on Physical Culture and Sports Dmitry Svishchev said transgender athletes should be competing in tournaments, which are organized separately.

"It was an adequate decision of the federation [of World Triathlon]," the Russian lawmaker said. "Transgender athletes should not be competing at the same-leveled tournaments as it contradicts the spirits of sports."

"I believe that separate Games must be organized for transgender athletes and such tournaments should be held simultaneously with traditional tournaments," Svishchev said. "Triathlon is the sport, which requires to strictly follow all of its regulations, without any illegally granted advantages to any athletes whatsoever."

Last year, Laurel Hubbard, a transgender from New Zealand, debuted at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in women’s weightlifting competitions, but failed to clear the opening stage in the 87-kilograms weight category. Hubbard, who was a male athlete when he was born and then changed gender to female in 2012, won a silver medal of the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships in the women’s under 90-kg weight category.