IOC lets federations define criteria for transgender athletes

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) It waives setting the criteria imposed on transgender and intersex athletes in order to compete, leaving it up to each international federation to establish a “framework” to establish their rules.

After two years of consultations with dozens of specialists, the IOC admitted that it is impossible to define uniform guidelines, as it has done since 2003, since it is a very complex issue that confronts the respect for human rights and the maintenance of the sports justice.

From now on, each international federation will be in charge of “determining how an athlete can have a disproportionate advantage over their rivals, taking into account the nature of each sport,” the IOC said in a statement.

Faced with passionate debates surrounding hyperandrogynous athletes such as South African athlete Caster Semenya or transgender women such as New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, the IOC has already modified its policy twice.

In 2003, the court conditioned the admission of transgender women to competition on the fact that they had undergone a sex reassignment operation, a very critical criterion because it meant imposing a very intrusive intervention without medical justification.

As a consequence of the protests, as of 2015 the WATCH It was based on the limits of testosterone, but “there is no scientific consensus on how testosterone affects sports performance,” explains Magali Martowicz, the head of human rights within the Olympic body.

It remains to be seen how each sport will administer the 10 potentially contradictory principles established by the IOC, ranging from “inclusiveness” to the absence of “unfair and disproportionate competitive advantage” to the “primacy of health” and the “right to health. private life “.

To help international federations, with highly variable legal and scientific resources, the Olympic body presents a “deployment phase” from March 2022, with “webinars” and the provision of a research fund.

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