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Trans Cyclist Emily Bridges Forced To Deactivate Social Media Accounts After 'Targeted Abuse'

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Trans Cyclist Emily Bridges Forced To Deactivate Social Media Accounts After 'Targeted Abuse'

Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges says they have been forced to deactivate their social media accounts after they became the subject of "targeted abuse".

The alleged abuse comes shortly after they were banned from competing in the women's British National Omnium Championship by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) because they were still technically registered as a male competitor.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Bridges' disqualification made headlines around and now they have found themselves in the firing line from people online, so much so that they have decided to take matters into their own hands.

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"I've had to deactivate my social media to prevent the targeted abuse I am receiving and block websites to stop seeing them," Bridges said in a statement.

"I've had journalists at my front door every day harassing us for comment and story, my privacy has been totally violated over speculation around my eligibility and fairness to compete.

"They attack anything that isn't the norm and print whatever is most likely to result in the highest engagement for their articles."

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The UCI, which is the sport's governing body, insists that the reason for barring Bridges was because they were still registered as a male athlete under their regulations for trans people.

It's understood the 21-year-old began hormone therapy last year to reduce their testosterone levels and will therefore only be able to compete as a woman once their male UCI ID expires.

British Cycling released a statement explaining the situation.

"We have now been informed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that under their current guidelines Emily is not eligible to participate in this event," the organisation said.

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"We have been in close discussions with the UCI regarding Emily's participation this weekend and have also engaged closely with Emily and her family regarding her transition and involvement in elite competitions."

"We acknowledge the decision of the UCI with regards to Emily's participation, however we fully recognise her disappointment with today's decision.

"Transgender and non-binary inclusion is bigger than one race and one athlete - it is a challenge for all elite sports."

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Bridges, too, plans on disputing the decision.

"I am an athlete," they said.

"I just want to race competitively again, within the Regulations set by British Cycling and UCI after careful consideration of the research around transgender athletes."

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Emily Bridges

Topics: transgender athletes, Trans, Cycling, Australia, transgender

Max Sherry
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