Trans athletes should be banned from competing against women, says Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer

16 April 2024, 01:13 | Updated: 16 April 2024, 06:59

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Transgender athletes should be banned from competing against women, Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has said.

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Ms Frazer said sporting bodies have a "duty" to set out clear guidance and take an "unambiguous position" on whether transgender athletes can compete.

She said she had spoken to sporting chiefs across cricket and football at a meeting on Monday, urging them to stop trans athletes competing against women at an elite level.

The Culture Secretary said both sports should follow the lead of others, including swimming, cycling, rowing and athletics, to protect biological women.

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"For years it was too loaded an issue to touch, despite the fact that it has the potential to make women's playing fields far from level," Ms Frazer wrote in the Mail.

"That's why this week I called together representatives from key sporting organisations, like the England and Wales Cricket Board and Football Association, to encourage them to follow the lead of other sports in not allowing trans athletes to compete against women at the elite level."

She continued: "Sporting bodies have a duty to women competing in sport to set out clear guidance and take an unambiguous position.

"In competitive sport, biology matters. And where male strength, size and body shape gives athletes an indisputable edge, this should not be ignored.

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"By protecting the female category, they can keep women's competitive sport safe and fair and encourage the young girls who dream of one day being elite sportswomen.

"We must get back to giving women a level playing field to compete. We need to give women a sporting chance."

Ms Frazer suggested an 'open' category as an alternative, which would mean "everyone can take part and nobody experiences an unfair advantage".

It comes after the Cass review last week found that children had been let down by a lack of research and evidence on the use of puberty blockers and hormones.

The recommendations in the report prompted NHS England, which had already stopped puberty blockers being given to under-16s, to announce a review into the use of hormones.