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Open Category For Men And Transgender Women To Be Introduced By British Triathlon

Open Category For Men And Transgender Women To Be Introduced By British Triathlon

British Triathlon will become the first UK sport to create such category for transgender athletes.

Triathlon is set to become the first sport in the United Kingdom to introduce a new open category which allows transgender athletes to compete in. 

The British Triathlon Federation confirmed that for athletes over the age of 12, all competitive women’s events will be reserved ‘for those who are female sex at birth’. 

The new open category will allow ‘all individuals including male, transgender and those non-binary who were male sex at birth’.

Current policy, which were set in 2018 allows transgender women to compete against female athletes if they have suppressed their testosterone.

The new policy, which is to start in January will apply to all competitions where there are prizes, times or rankings at stake, and will filter down to grassroots level of the sport. 

British Triathlon said in a statement: “Our policy outlines that triathlon is a sport for everyone and that transphobic behaviour will not be tolerated.” 

“We started this process at the end of 2021 and went through a period of independent consultation… this ensured that, along with the latest research, we heard from our community, key groups and individuals about their views and experiences.”

“We are easily and reliably able to observe the advantages - in terms of both performance outcomes and physiology/biology - those athletes who are the male sex at birth have over athletes who are the female sex at birth. We are also a sport made up of three distinct disciplines, each of which have a long history with clear differentials between the performances achieved between males and females.” 

“We'll now take time to develop guidance for event organisers, clubs, officials and coaches, to share this autumn, before the policy comes into effect from 1 January 2023.” 

“British Triathlon wants to make clear that it does not tolerate transphobic behaviour, harassment, bullying or hate speech of any kind. Anyone commenting on our policy, should do so with empathy and consideration for all of those who have been involved and who may still have questions and concerns about how the policy impacts them.”

The decision came after British Triathlon conducted a survey with more than 3000 members, the results showed that 80% were keen for the sport to have two categories. 

Andy Salmon, the head of British Triathlon said: “We believe this is the right policy for triathlon in Great Britain, and the right time to publish it. We have taken legal advice and are confident it's legally robust.”

Lord Coe, who is the World Athletics president has said that the sport will look to introduce a similar approach later this year. 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Twitter@BritTri