The leading sports authority in Australia has proposed that transgender athletes be allowed to participate in high-level women’s sports events, but only after undergoing hormone suppression.
In its recent document addressing “gender diversity inclusion,” the Australian Sports Commission backed the idea of testosterone caps for transwomen participating in elite sports, a recommendation that will likely cause fury across the sporting world.
The voluntary guidelines, intended for national sports organizations, suggest that transgender athletes keep their testosterone plasma levels below 2.5 nanomoles per litre for a span of two years prior to competing. However, this requirement could be subject to changes depending on the specific needs of a given sport.
“Sports that are not explosive, power-based, or aerobic may consider that the appropriate range for their sport exceeds AIS recommended guidelines,” said the framework. Any athlete undergoing testosterone suppression must also be kept under medical guidance and consult with an endocrinology specialist.
Equality Australia celebrated the recommendation, although said the AIS must “justify” its reasoning for imposing adjusted testosterone levels.
“While it is for the AIS to justify their testosterone requirements, it is reasonable to expect some criteria for participation at an elite level,” Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown said. “This is why we support the guidelines for recommending a case-by-case approach rather than a blanket ban.”
Meanwhile, transgender handballer Hannah Mouncey described the decision as “awesome,” saying it made it “pretty f***ing clear that if you want to ban someone, you’ve got to make it pretty clear as to why.”
“I don’t think they could’ve done it any better. They’re awesome,” said Mouncey. “They’ve actually done it without listening to the hysteria that’s out there.”
However, the Queer Sporting Alliance were less impressed, arguing that it would allow the continued exclusion of transgender women in female sport.
“The absolute silence on the AIS guidelines endorsing the setting of arbitrarily low testosterone levels for transgender athletes is hard to face today,” the organization said in a statement.
These guidelines will be used to justify exclusion of transgender women who may have lower testosterone levels compared to their cis gendered teammates.
Guidelines should exist to support peak bodies take a well-informed approach to how to support inclusion. These guidelines have fallen well short … The bar is set so low for our community that many respected LGBTIQ+ orgs will tell you today is a moment for celebration. It isn’t.
The question of biological men competing in female sports has perhaps become the most polarizing topic in modern sport. Several international sporting federations, spanning athletics, rugby union, and rugby league, have barred transgender women from competing in top-tier women’s events, citing reasons related to maintaining fair competition and ensuring athlete safety. Conversely, other sports have instituted testosterone caps akin to the new guidelines set forth by Australia.
However, the sufficiency of these testosterone limits in promoting fair play is disputed by many scientists, who argue that transgender women athletes who have experienced male puberty still possess significant physical advantages even after undergoing hormone suppression.
A Gallup poll released just this week found that a significant majority of Americans oppose transgender women competing in sports. Around 70 percent supported the idea transgender athletes should be allowed to compete in sports categories that match their biological sex.
* Article From: Red State