The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that sports organizations allow biologically male, transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports without lowering their testosterone levels.
The IOC stated that no athlete should be excluded from competition based on unverified, alleged or perceived unfair competitive advantage due to biological sex in a Tuesday report. The report says athletes should compete in sports based on their self-determined gender identity and should not be subject to “targeted testing” to determine biological sex.
“Athletes should not be deemed to have an unfair or disproportionate competitive advantage due to their sex variations, physical appearance and/or transgender status,” the report said.
The IOC goes on to state that athletes should never be pressured to undergo “medically unnecessary treatments,” including include hormone therapy which some transgender people use to lower their testosterone to the level to that of a biological female.
A Sports Councils’ Equality Group (SCEG) report released in September found that biologically male athletes have unfair advantages over female athletes retained even after a biological male undergoes testosterone suppression to affirm a female gender identity.
The SCEG report found that “transgender women are on average likely to retain physical advantage in terms of physique, stamina, and strength.”
The IOC report is not legally binding, but it replaced the IOC’s own 2015 guidelines which limited athletes’ testosterone levels, NBC News reported. Before 2015, the IOC’s guidelines would, in some cases, require genital surgery prior to eligibility for competition.
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