Track Stars Fight Back Against World Athletics’ New Transgender Proposal

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British Olympians are speaking out against a new proposal that may force them to compete against transgender women.

Beth Dobbin, Emily Diamond and Ellie Baker said the plan is unfair to female athletes due to biological advantages.

“Women deserve to compete exclusively against competitors who don’t have any of the advantages that the female category exists to exclude,” Dobbin tweeted. “Testosterone is what creates these advantages and lowering it doesn’t level the playing field.”

Baker echoed these sentiments.

“I love track & field,” she wrote. “I train hard every day to reach my goals in this sport, but if this is going to be allowed, this will take away biological women’s livelihoods.”

Team Great Britain’s runners are just the latest female athletes to speak out against the injustice. They join British shot putter Amelia Strickland, who has led the charge against biological men competing in women’s sports.

“The effects of the hormones and hormone replacements are not going to take away that male puberty advantage,” Strickler told BBC Radio 5 Live. “It would leave us women at a serious disadvantage.”

Strickler added that the participation of transgender women in female competitions is “happening at the grassroots level.” She worries about a ripple effect that will carry over to elite athletics “sooner than we think.”

Track Stars Fight Back Against World Athletics' New Transgender Proposal
Team Great Britain athletes Ellie Baker, Emily Diamond and Beth Dobbin have joined the fight against biological men competing in women’s sports. (Getty Images)

World Athletics plans to increase restrictions on trans women, but not ban them.

Earlier this week, World Athletics, the international governing body for track and field, submitted a proposal that would allow transgender athletes to compete in elite female track and field events. If they recorded a low testosterone level, that is.

Currently, any competitor must have a blood testosterone level below 5 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months. Under the new plan, athletes must measure at 2.5 nanomoles per liter with the time limit extended to two years.

However, this proposal stands in stark contrast to statements previously made by World Athletics President Lord Sebastian Coe.

In March 2022, Coe said that “gender cannot trump biology” and that “fairness is non-negotiable.”

Coe was expected to follow suit from the international swimming federation (Fina). Last year, Fina barred trans women from competing in the female category altogether.

This decision followed an expert report which concluded that going through male puberty gave trans women a “relative performance advantage over biological females,” even after testosterone reduction therapy.

“Testosterone suppression does not work,” former Team GB marathoner Mara Yamauchi said. “Either Coe has changed his mind, or he cannot stand up to others in World Athletics who are pushing this.”

A council will vote on the rule change in March.

The proposal will undergo a consultation process before receiving a vote.

“It is just something that me, my peers and my colleagues — we all work hard day in, day out — we don’t want to see this happen,” Strickler said.

Additionally, Strickler said biological women in the sport are “screwed” if no one speaks up and that the rules could even drive her toward retirement.

Baker, too, said the future of their sport could depend on it.

“We may as well give up now,” Baker said. “I’m not anti trans. It’s just a matter of what’s fair and what isn’t.”

Written by Amber Harding

Amber is a Midwestern transplant living in Murfreesboro, TN. She spends most of her time taking pictures of her dog, explaining why real-life situations are exactly like "this one time on South Park," and being disappointed by the Tennessee Volunteers.


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