Olympics Delays Allowing Trans Athletes To Compete Citing Very Conflicting Opinions

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Olympics Delays Allowing Trans Athletes To Compete Citing Very Conflicting Opinions

Another year, another delaying of the release of guidelines on transgender athletes participating in the Olympics.

According to the International Olympic Committee, the updated policies are said to be published after the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics at an unspecified date.

Why did the Olympics delay the release of their transgender policy? 

The International Olympic Committee’s new transgender guidelines for sports were delayed again because of “very conflicting opinions.”

Medical and science director of the Olympic governing body, Dr. Richard Budgett, was the bearer of bad news at a news conference on Monday. Held by the Council of Europe, the conference focused on trans and intersex athletes’ rights.

RELATED: Why Trans Athletes Are Not A Threat To Women's Sports

Budgett also reported that “Transgender women are women,” but the competition must “separate gender from eligibility.

There is little evidence that suggests trans women have unfair advantages over cisgender women in sports.

“If you compare archery to hockey to rowing, they require very different skills,” Budgett added.

“And an elite athlete from one is unlikely to be an elite athlete in another," he continued. "And we have to determine what really is a disproportionate or insurmountable advantage.”

The argument that the physiological differences between trans women and cis women give trans women an advantage doesn’t make that much sense.

Especially when said advantage is preventing them from participating in competitions and pursuing their dreams.

The International Olympic Committee's current guidelines were created in 2015.

Currently, the International Olympic Committee says that trans women should be allowed to compete in the women’s category if they reduce their testosterone for the entirety of a year.

RELATED: Why People Are Calling Florida’s Trans Bill "State-Sanctioned Sexual Assault Against Children"

Individual sports federations, however, are allowed to come up with their own rules.

"The particular changes from 2015 are the emphasis on the priority of inclusion, and on the avoidance of harm,” Budgett said, “but always bearing in mind the importance of fair and meaningful competition."

As things stand, the IOC suggests trans women should be allowed to compete in the women’s category if they reduce their testosterone for 12 months – although individual sports federations are allowed to come up with their own rules.

They also said that trans women should be allowed to compete in their category without receiving gender reassignment surgery — as long as their testosterone level in serum is below 10 nanomoles per liter.

In 2004, the drafted policy demanded that trans competitors have to receive bottom surgery, legal recognition of their gender, and be on hormone therapy for “long enough to minimize any gender-related advantages in sport competitions.”

Those are all privileges that not every trans athlete can afford to have or to make time for.

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Although the 2015 policy has progressed, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be more change.

This was the first year that the Olympics had out trans and non-binary competitors.

There were a total of three out trans competitors.

Laurel Hubbard was the first openly transgender female athlete to compete at the Olympics. A 43-year-old weight lifter from New Zealand, she made history in the women’s heavyweight competition.

Quinn, a Canadian midfielder for the women’s Olympic soccer team was the first non-binary athlete to win a medal in the Olympic games.

Alana Smith, a non-binary American skateboarder, represented the United States in the street skateboarding competition.

Transgender runner, CeCe Tefler, however, was not allowed to compete in the U.S. Olympic trials after failing to meet homone requirements.

RELATED: 6 Life Lessons I Learned From My Son About Raising Happy, Healthy Transgender Children

Izzy Casey is a writer who covers pop culture, entertainment, and news.