British Cycling bans transgender riders from competing

The sport’s governing authority in the UK said on Friday it had voted for an “immediate suspension” of its current policy, which it said was “unfair to all female cyclists”.

The decision came days after transgender cyclist Emily Bridges said she had been “harassed and demonized” after the UCI, world cycling’s governing body, ruled she could not compete at the Omnium National Championships in the UK on April 2.

Bridges, who was due to compete against British Olympic stars such as Laura Kenny in the event, said she learned through British Cycling that the UCI had ruled she was ineligible.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson waded into the queue this week when he said: “I don’t think biological men should compete in women’s sporting events. And maybe that’s somewhat controversial… but it makes sense to me.” .”
Posting the statement on its website, British Cycling said: “Due to the difference in British Cycling and UCI policies regarding the licensing process, it is currently possible for trans athletes to gain eligibility to compete through national level while their cases remain pending with the UCI (or even in situations where they are deemed ineligible).

“This, in turn, allows those female runners to rack up national ranking points that affect selection decisions for National Championship races, which is not only unprecedented in our sport, but also unfair to all female runners and poses a challenge to the integrity of racing.

A full review will start in the coming weeks, the organization said, adding that it remains “committed to ensuring that transgender and non-binary people are welcome.”

The previously agreed upon policy required that any current or prospective transgender or non-binary member seeking to compete in the female race category must submit a signed statement stating that their identity is female and that they wish to compete in the female category, while also submitting evidence that his “total serum testosterone level has been below 5 nmol/L continuously for a period of at least 12 months.

‘We just received this in our inbox’

A statement published by British Cycling on its website on March 30 said that Bridges was due to participate in the event on Saturday April 2 “under British Cycling’s non-binary and transgender participation policy”, but added: “We have now been informed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that based on their current guidelines, Emily is not eligible to participate in this event.”

As of March 1, 2020, UCI regulations state that transgender women must reduce their testosterone levels below 5 nmol/L for at least 12 months in order to compete in women’s events.

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However, according to The Guardian, Bridges was prevented from competing by the UCI because it said she was still registered as a male cyclist and therefore ineligible to compete as a female until her male UCI ID expired.

Bridges has yet to comment on British Cycling’s suspension of its “transgender and non-binary engagement policy”, but her mother, Sandy Sullivan, tweeted a copy of the statement that read: “Emailed. We just received this in our inbox. We will make a statement sometime in the next 24 hours.”

CNN has reached out to Bridges’ representatives for comment.

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Earlier this month, Bridges said in a statement that she has been in contact with British Cycling and the UCI for the last six months, ahead of what was supposed to be her first race in a women’s event.

“In that time, I have provided medical evidence to both British Cycling and the UCI that I meet the eligibility criteria for transgender cyclists, including that my testosterone limit has been well below the limit prescribed by regulations for the last 12 months. “. Bridges said in his statement, which was released by the LGBTQIA+ cycling group PRIDE OUT.

“I’m an athlete and I just want to compete again,” Bridges said. “No one should have to choose between being who they are and participating in the sport they love.”
Bridges initially posted the statement on his Instagram account, but has since made the account private.

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