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Bearded powerlifter who identified as a woman enters female event and smashes record

Bearded powerlifter who identified as a woman enters female event and smashes record

Leaning on the organisation's lenient eligibility rules, the pro powerlifter identified as female in order to enter the tournament.

A professional powerlifter over in Canada has entered a women’s competition and smashed the record previously held by a transgender lifter.

Avi Silverberg was able to do so by saying he identified as female.

It's understood the move was in protest of gender self-identification in sport, although Avi hasn't state his intentions publicly yet.

Over the weekend, Avi entered into the women's category of the 'Heroes Classic' tournament in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Leaning on the organisation's lenient eligibility policy, the pro powerlifter claimed to identify as a woman, despite possessing a thick beard.

Officials then allowed Avi to enter the competition where he went on to shatter the record which was actually held by a trans athlete.

In a video shared by athlete activist group the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS), Avi can be seen bench-pressing a weight of 167kg.

Avi's effort broke the current Alberta women’s record by almost 45kg.

That record - which was 124kg - was set by trans athlete Anne Andres, who also holds the Alberta women’s record for the dead lift at 245kg.

It turns out Andres was actually watching the event, in attendance to witness her record get broken.

The caption on ICONS' tweet read: "Team Canada powerlifting coach, Avi Silverberg just broke the Alberta WOMEN's bench press record in the 84+ kg category at the 'Heroes Classic'.

"Former record holder, trans-identifying male, Anne Andres had a front row view as Silverberg mocked the discriminatory CPU policy by also unofficially breaking the women's world record in the event."

The CPU transgender policy that ICONS is referring to states that an individual “should be able to participate in the gender with which they identify and not be subject to requirements for disclosure of personal information beyond those required of cisgender athletes”.

It adds: “Nor should there be any requirement for hormonal therapy or surgery.”

ICONS released a statement on the matter, saying: “What Avi so obviously points out is that policies allowing men access to women’s sports completely remove any integrity in women’s competitions.”

“It doesn’t matter how Avi expresses himself or perceives himself. He clearly does not belong in women’s sport, and neither does any other male regardless of their motivation for wanting to participate.”

When word of Avi's actions made its way onto social media, fans threw their support behind his protest.

Replying to ICONS Twitter thread, competitive powerlifter April-Lea said: "Avi for prime minister. It takes real balls to do this. I said this all along, any man can change their documents to say they are a woman then go in and take records. Finally someone did it for the women and proved policy is a disgrace."

While another added: "I won't lie, it took me a minute to figure out what was going on. Good for Silverberg! This nonsense needs mocked."

As a third commented: "More male athletes need to do this in all sports where transgender people are allowed."

Retweeting the Daily Mail's article, American journalist Megyn Kelly said: "YES! This is how we will reverse this nonsense."

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@icons_women

Topics: Gym, Weightlifting