USA Boxing has adopted a ‘Transgender Policy’, which will allow male boxers who transition to fight in the female category from 2024.
The governing body, which oversees America’s amateur and Olympic-style boxing, will allow transgender athletes to compete under certain conditions.
They must meet certain criteria, including declaring their new gender identity, completing gender reassignment surgery and regular hormone testing.
Both male and female transgender athletes must have undergone quarterly hormone testing and provided US Boxing with documentation of their hormone levels for a minimum of four years following surgery.
Boxers who have transitioned from male to female must demonstrate that their total testosterone level in serum has been below 5 nmol/L for at least 48 months prior to her first competition.
Their total testosterone level in serum must remain below 5 nmol/L throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category.
Meanwhile, a male boxer must show that his total testosterone level in serum has been above 1O nmol/L for at least 48 months prior to his first competition and maintain it above that level through the period of eligibility.
USA Boxing has made the move to introduce the policy after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled in 2021 that each sport and its governing body has the responsibility to decide how athletes are at a disadvantage to others.
As Boxing’s International Federation has yet to determine eligibility for transgender boxers, USA Boxing said it has stepped in to make its own ruling with its objective ‘the safety of all boxers and fair competition between all boxers’.
Male boxer Patricio Manuel, who began transitioning to male by taking hormones in 2013 and undergoing top surgery a year later, made his professional boxing debut and became the first transgender person to do so in American history in 2018.
Manuel had an amateur boxing career that included five national title wins and a trial for the 2012 Women’s US Olympic team. Earlier this year, he picked up his third straight professional win.
In October, female martial artists say they dropped out of a major competition saying they felt ‘scared’ and ‘unsafe’ after being forced to fight transgender women at previous tournaments.
Professional martial artist Jayden Alexander said she was left ‘devastated’ after fighting a transgender woman in July and had self-excluded from future competitions to avoid fighting them again.
‘The experience was horrible and scary,’ Alexander said in a recent social media post about the experience. ‘I was absolutely in fight or flight mode and as a seasoned competitor, I can honestly say I’ve never been there mentally before in a match.
‘In the upcoming months, when I went to compete again, I had to self-exclude from a world series of Jiu Jitsu and from a women’s absolute bracket at a NAGA to avoid competing with not one but two trans-male athletes,’ Alexander explained.
Over the summer, videos of female competitors fighting transgender challengers went viral, and sparked outcries over fairness and safety. Some noted the transgender participants were much heavier than the female opponents.
The policy had stated that women would not be forced to compete against transgender fighters – but several women said that isn’t the case and they boycotted a late-October tournament in Georgia.
Meanwhile, earlier this month the House Subcommittee for Healthcare and Financial Services became the latest legislative body to address the controversy of transgender athletes in women’s sports.
But committee chairwoman Lisa McClain (Republican-Michigan), former Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, ex-Oberlin lacrosse coach Kim Russell and the Heritage Foundation’s Sarah Parshall Perry testified in favor of a ban.
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