In an emergency meeting, the International Cycling Union (UCI) dealt with one of the current debate topics: the participation of transgender athletes in competitions, whether male or female: “From now on, transgender athletes who have transitioned after (male) puberty they will be prohibited from participating in women’s events on the UCI International Calendar, in all categories, in the various disciplines”. For international events (non professionals) of the UCI Cycling for All International Calendar and UCI events (UCI Gran Fondo World Series, UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, UCI Gravel World Series, UCI Gravel World Championships and UCI Masters World Championships), the men’s category will be renamed Men/Open, and any athlete who does not meet the conditions to participate in women’s events will be admitted without restrictions.
“The UCI Management Committee has taken note of the state of scientific knowledge, which does not confirm that at least two years of gender-affirming hormone therapy with a target plasma testosterone concentration of 2.5 nmol/L be enough to completely eliminate the benefits of testosterone during puberty in men. In addition, there is considerable interindividual variability in response to gender-confirming hormone therapy, making it even more difficult to draw accurate conclusions about the effects of such treatment. Given the current state of scientific knowledge, it is also impossible to rule out the possibility that biomechanical factors, such as the shape and arrangement of the bones of their extremities, may constitute a lasting advantage for transgender athletes, ”adds the UCI. This will come into effect from July 17.
“Taking these findings into account, the UCI Management Committee considered the interests of transgender athletes in being able to participate in sports competitions against those of athletes in the female category, which is considered a protected class. In this context, the UCI Management Committee concluded, considering the remaining scientific uncertainties, that it was necessary to take this measure to protect the female class and guarantee equal opportunities,” concludes the highest international cycling body. David Lappartient, President of the UCI, commented on this resolution: “It is this imperative that led the UCI to conclude that, since the current state of scientific knowledge does not guarantee such equal opportunities between transgender athletes and cisgender participants, it was not possible, as a precautionary measure, to authorize the first to compete in the female categories.