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Transgender Runner CeCe Telfer Will Not Be Allowed To Compete In U.S. Olympic Trials

Jack Kenmare

| Last updated 

Transgender Runner CeCe Telfer Will Not Be Allowed To Compete In U.S. Olympic Trials

Transgender runner CeCe Telfer will not take part in the upcoming U.S. Olympic trials because she has not met the conditions established in the World Athletics eligibility regulations.

The 26-year-old track athlete, who became the first openly transgender woman to win an NCAA title in 2019, was hoping to compete in the qualifying round of the women's 400-meter hurdles in Oregon on Friday.

But after training 'vigorously' in recent months, according to Telfer's official website, USA Track and Field have put a dent in her Olympic dream.

In a short statement, USA Track and Field confirmed that Telfer was barred from competing in the trials.

It read: "While CeCe Telfer has met the performance qualification standard, she has not met the conditions established in the World Athletics 'Eligibility Regulations for Transgender Athletes' and is therefore ineligible to compete."

The regulations require a transgender athlete to reduce testosterone to below a certain level for 12 months before competing in women's events. In fact, athletes must stay below five nanomoles per litre (nmol/L) for one year before an event to compete.

Back in 2019, World Athletics introduced the rule that athletes whose testosterone levels were at 5 nanomoles per litre (nmol/L) or more were barred from competing at women's events between 400 meters and a mile.

Image credit: PA
Image credit: PA

The U.S. federation has also commented on the decision, saying: "USATF strongly supports inclusivity and providing a clear path to participation in the sport for all, while also maintaining competitive fairness. If CeCe meets the conditions for transgender athlete participation in the future, we wholeheartedly back her participation in international events as a member of Team USATF."

Telfer, who had completed for the men's team at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, took some time off from the sport before returning to compete in the women's team. She was hoping to compete at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

In the donation section on her website, she writes: "I am a track athlete who is vying for a sponsorship. Until then, I have to travel to various track meets financed mostly by myself. I spend most of my days training vigorously and when I'm not training, I'm working at a nursing home, as a LNA.

"In 2019, I won my first NCAA Championship in the 400m hurdles. Now, I have an even bigger stage in my sight - Tokyo 2021. Please help me on my journey to the Olympics and to be the first black female in transition to compete at the Olympics.

"The world is changing and it starts with me."

Born in Jamaica and raised in Canada. Telfe started running track at a young age. "It was cultural and all Jamaicans have to do it. It's in my blood," she says. "Track has always been a part of my life."

The 26-year-old has now turned her focus towards the future and is continuing to train, according to her manager, David McFarland, who says she will compete on the national and world stage again soon.

Featured Image Credit: cecetelfer/Instagram - PA

Topics: olympics

Jack Kenmare
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