A female boxer withdrew from a Canadian tournament after being told her rival is transgender, citing safety fears.
Dr. Katia Bissonnette, from Saguenay, claims she was given just an hour’s notice she was being matched with transgender fighter Mya Walmsley last month.
But Bissonnette withdrew at the last second after learning the identity of her opponent, resulting in Walmsley being declared the winner by default as they could not find anyone else to take her position in the same weight class.
‘Women shouldn’t have to bear the physical and psychological risks brought by a man’s decisions regarding his personal life and identity,’ Bissonnette told Reduxx. ‘There should be two categories: biological male and female.’
She also cited a study by the University of Utah which found that men can punch 163 per cent harder than women.
Studies on the strength of transgender women suggest that hormone blockers may reduce this biological advantage slightly.
According to Boxing Canada, a trans fighter’s identity should not be disclosed if a transition was undertaken before puberty to prevent discrimination.
However, since Walmsley is originally from Australia her history is not known, Bissonnette, who works as a psychiatrist, said.
She claims that Walmsley’s file indicates ‘zero fights as a woman’ in Canada.
‘This kind of behavior puts athletes at risk of being excluded or receiving personal attacks based on hearsay,’ Walmsley said in a statement.
‘I am afraid that this type of accusation could eventually be used to delegitimize athletes in the women’s category, and justify arbitrary and invasive regulations.’
The philosophy Masters student told La Presse that she had not transitioned to become a boxer and that the whole ordeal had left her feeling like a ‘political object’.
She advocated trusting coaches and athletes to choose the correct gender categories for themselves.
The International Olympic Committee previously ruled that transwomen could compete in female categories if they lower their testosterone to a certain level.
But Walmsley confirmed she did not have to test her levels prior to enrolling in the championship.
She argued the ‘arbitrary and invasive’ tests would lead to a dead end to require this kind of tests’.
It comes after Fallon Fox, the first openly transgender MMA fighter, revealed she had fractured a female competitor’s bone during a bout prior to her retirement from the sport.
Tamika Brents sustained a broken orbital bone, which Fox pointed out is a common injury within the sport regardless of gender.
* Original Article: