Trans women banned from female world athletics events over fears of a competitive advantage

23 March 2023, 17:09 | Updated: 24 March 2023, 01:27

Seb Coe announced the ban over fears of competitive advantage
Seb Coe announced the ban over fears of competitive advantage. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Transgender women are banned from competing in female world athletics events, World Athletics has announced.

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People who go through male puberty but then transition to women will be excluded from female world ranking competitions from the end of the month.

It comes after a dispute over the fairness of allowing them to take part, given fears that their bodies will give them an edge over competitors.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: "The council has agreed to exclude male-to-female transgender athletes, who have been through male puberty, from female world ranking competitions from 31 March."

Speaking in Monaco on Thursday, he added: "The World Athletics Council has today taken decisive action to protect the female category in our sport and do so by restricting the participation of trans athletes."

Read more: Evangelical street preacher found guilty of harassing trans woman by calling her a 'gentleman' has conviction quashed

Seb Coe announced the ban in Monaco
Seb Coe announced the ban in Monaco. Picture: Alamy

He said many believe there is insufficient evidence trans women don't have an advantage over biological women.

The decision came after sports federations, competitors and community groups - including transgender organisations - were consulted.

Previously, British Athletics called for trans women to take part in an "open" category that would replace the male category in competitions.

FINA, the governing body for swimming, said trans competitors need to have transitioned before they turn 12 if they want to take part in women's events.

Meanwhile, Russian athletes will remain banned from track and field events "for the foreseeable future" after the invasion of Ukraine.

The International Olympic Committee is hoping to find a way for Russians and Belarusians to compete at the games in Paris next year – but it appears they will not be able to take part in athletics.

They were kicked out over the invasion. Belarus allows Russian units to attack Ukraine from its territory.

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