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Trans Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Competing At Tokyo 2020 Is 'Less Than Ideal,' Says Olympic Advisor

Adnan Riaz

Published 

Trans Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Competing At Tokyo 2020 Is 'Less Than Ideal,' Says Olympic Advisor

Featured Image Credit: Fox News/1 NEWS/PA

Dr Joanna Harper has claimed that Laurel Hubbard's opportunity to compete at Tokyo 2020 could be seen as a "less than ideal decision" in history.

New Zealand weightlifter Hubbard will challenge for an Olympic medal in the women's 87kg weightlifting at the Tokyo International Forum on Monday.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The 43-year-old's involvement at Tokyo 2020 has caused controversy as Hubbard will become the first trans athlete to compete at the Olympics.

Harper insisted that she does not think it is a "mistake" that the New Zealander is allowed to compete in the women's super-heavyweight category.

But the researcher, who is a trans woman, has admitted that history might not look back on Hubbard's involvement in a positive light.

Harper told BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour: "In most sports, it is probably true that hormone therapy mitigates the advantages, enough. Now, most sports do not necessarily include Olympic weightlifting.

"And I would admit that of all the sports that I might be concerned with, Olympic weightlifting might be near the top of the list."

Harper's research was used in the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s decision to allow trans women to compete against women at the Olympics.

Credit: 1 NEWS
Credit: 1 NEWS

When asked if it was a mistake in allowing Hubbard to compete against the other women, Harper responded: "I don't believe so. I think that it is possible that history will say that this is a less than ideal decision, but I don't think it's a mistake."

Harper insisted that weightlifting between transgender athletes and women "doesn't have to be equal to be fair," but the main thing is that "extreme differences need to be mitigated."

The Olympic advisor explained: "It doesn't have to be equal to be fair, all that needs to happen is that the extreme differences need to be mitigated to the point where we can have meaningful competition.

"I'm not 100 per cent convinced [that the advantages have been mitigated], no, but I think that, again, the Olympics are happening, and I think that having Laurel Hubbard and other trans athletes in games is not markedly unfair."

IOC medical and science director Dr Richard Budgett has defended Hubbard and claimed that "everyone agrees that trans women are women."

Hubbard has also broken her silence ahead of her debut at Tokyo 2020 by praising the IOC for "making sport inclusive and accessible."

Topics: 2020 Summer Olympics, Weightlifting, Laurel Hubbard

Adnan Riaz
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