Triathlon lets transgender women compete under tighter rules

Transgender women can continue to compete in its female category in international events, but they will have tougher eligibility rules.

Triathlon at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The sport requires athletes to swim, cycle and run.

Triathlon at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The sport requires athletes to swim, cycle and run. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Transgender women can continue to compete in its female category in international events, but they will have tougher eligibility rules.

The Olympic sport of triathlon said on Wednesday transgender women can continue to compete in its female category in international events, though it imposed tougher eligibility rules.

World Triathlon is taking a less strict line than swimming’s governing body FINA which effectively banned transgender athletes from international women’s competitions in June and proposed creating an “open” category.

Triathlon’s policy of requiring transgender athletes to show a lower maximum level of testosterone — 2.5 nanomoles per liter — maintained for at least two years is in line with cycling’s rules announced in June. Any transgender woman who “has competed as a male in any sporting competition” must wait at least four years before being allowed to compete in women’s events, World Triathlon said.

Triathlon is an endurance test with the women’s Olympic event requiring athletes to complete a 1.5-kilometer (0.9-mile) swim, 40 km (25 miles) cycling and a 10-km (6.2-mile) run.

“The policy that we have just approved shows that we are prioritizing the fairness principle but showing inclusiveness,” World Triathlon president Marisol Casado said in a statement.

“It is fully aligned with the IOC’s recommendation, and similar to what other (governing bodies) have done in the last months,” said Casado, who is an International Olympic Committee member alongside International Cycling Union (UCI) leader David Lappartient.

The UCI cited the “important role played by muscle strength and power” in cycling when deciding its rules.

World Triathlon said its policy will take effect “in 30 days’ time.”

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