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Natalie Ryan, a transgender disc golfer, has been banned from competing in the women’s division on a California tour after a last-minute court rule change.
The Professional Disc Golf Association announced in December 2022 that transgender players will effectively be banned from playing in the women’s division. Under the new rule, trans women were only allowed to compete against biological women if they began medical transition during Tanner Stage 2 or before age 12, whichever is later. The player must also continuously maintain a total testosterone level in serum below 2.0 nmol/L.
Ryan, who had climbed all the way to the No. 5 world ranking in the women’s division, filed a discrimination lawsuit in February about the rule change. Fast-forward to last week and Ryan was deemed eligible to compete after a US District Judge issued a restraining order.
“It appears there was an intentional act, the creation of a policy, that excludes individuals based on their protected status as transgender women,” the judge wrote in his decision.
Ryan competed in the opening round of the OTB Open, but the tour itself filed an appeal on Friday and the trans player was immediately removed from the tour and banned from competing.
“This order restores the DGPT’s ability to enforce its current policy on Gender Eligibility. The DGPT will follow the court’s ruling and enforce its Gender Eligibility Policy which will disallow Ms. Ryan from continuing competition in the OTB Open,” the tour said in a statement.
Ryan took to Instagram to voice his displeasure on the ruling writing, “my removal from OTB was targeted just as the new policy was…they have only done this to hurt me.”