FIFA and IAAF are reviewing transgender policies

The governing body of football in the world, FIFA and World Athletics, said on Monday they would review their rules on the suitability of transsexuals following the adoption of new rules restricting the participation of transgender women in women’s events.

The governing body of the swimming world, FINA, voted on Sunday to restrict the participation of transgender athletes in elite women’s competitions and to set up a working group to establish an “open” category for them as part of its new policy.

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The new policy stipulates that male-to-female transgender swimmers (transgender women) can only take part in women’s competitions if “they can confirm to FINA’s satisfaction that they have not experienced any part of male puberty after Stage 2 of puberty (puberty).) Or before the age of 12, whichever is the later “.

A FIFA spokesman told Reuters that a consultation process on the new policy was underway.

“FIFA is currently reviewing its gender mainstreaming regulations in consultation with expert stakeholders,” a spokesman said.

“Due to the length of the process, FIFA will not be able to comment on the details of the proposed changes to the current regulations,” the spokesman added.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe told the BBC that the organisation’s council would discuss their regulations later this year.

Coe praised FINA for taking a decision that has been criticized by advocates for transsexual rights.

“We see that the international federation is reaffirming its primacy in setting the rules, regulations and policies that are in the best interests of its sport,” he told the BBC.

“It’s as it should be. We’ve always believed that biology trumps gender, and we’ll continue to review our regulations accordingly. We’re watching science.

“We will continue to research, investigate and contribute to the growing body of evidence that testosterone is a key factor in performance, and we plan to discuss our rules with our council by the end of the year,” he added.

FIFA has stated that it is following the guidance of medical, legal, scientific, performance and human rights experts, as well as the views of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“If FIFA is asked to check a player’s suitability before the new rules come into force, each such case will be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account FIFA’s clear commitment to human rights,” he said.

Last year, the IOC published a framework on this issue, leaving decisions on participation to individual sports bodies to decide, but adding that “unless the evidence decides otherwise, athletes should not be given an unfair or disproportionate competitive advantage due to their gender, physical appearance and / or transgender status”.

World Athletics rules limit testosterone levels to 5 nanomolar per liter (5 nmol / l) for transgender athletes with different gender development (DSD) in some women’s running competitions.

According to Coe, it is important to protect the integrity of women’s sports.

“If the push has to be pushed, if it is a decision between inclusion and justice, we will always be on the side of justice – that is indisputable for me.

“We cannot have a generation of young girls who think they have no future in this sport. So we have a responsibility … maintaining the supremacy and integrity of women’s competition is crucial,” she added.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) tightened its rules on transgender participation last week, increasing the transition period for low testosterone levels to two years and lowering the maximum testosterone levels allowed.

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