International triathlon chiefs set transgender policy

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Aug 04 2022 04:19 AM

Athletes start the swimming race  EPA-EFE
Athletes start the swimming race during the Ironman Triathlon 2022 in lake Thun in Thun, Switzerland, 10 July 2022. Peter Klaunzer, EPA-EFE

World Triathlon chiefs on Wednesday approved rules governing participation by transgender athletes in women's races including a four-year wait since last competing as a man.

The rules come just a month after British Triathlon banned transgender women from competing against females but allowed them to enter a new open category.

World Triathlon rules will come into operation in 30 days' time.

"To compete in the female category in an Elite or Age-Group triathlon competition, a transgender athlete must demonstrate that the concentration of testosterone in the athlete's serum has been less than 2.5 nmol/L continuously for a period of at least 24 months," said a statement.

"Also, at least 48 months must have elapsed since the transgender athlete has competed as a male in any sporting competition."

In June, transgender cyclists were told that their eligibility period before racing in women's races would be doubled under regulations outlined by their governing body.

The UCI said that due to the important role played by muscle strength and power in cycling performance, there would be an increase in the transition period on low testosterone from 12 to 24 months.

World Triathlon president and IOC Member, Marisol Casado said Wednesday that their policy "shows that we are prioritising the fairness principle but showing inclusiveness".

"It is fully aligned with the IOC's recommendation, and similar to what other international federations have done in the last months. 

"We will of course monitor the situation and the evolution of this policy, and we are open to reviewing and discussing it as much as necessary over time, as this subject is still evolving and we need to be flexible."

FINA, the international swimming federation, has allowed the creation of an open category which effectively bans transgender athletes from racing in women's races.