Transgender women will not be allowed to compete in female track and field events regardless of their levels of testosterone, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.
The CEO said that transgender athlete who had gone through male puberty would be permitted to complete in female world ranking competition from March 31.
Speaking during a meeting of the global track and field federation’s decision making body, Sebastian said World Athletics had discussed with stakeholders including 40 national federations, the International Olympic Committee and trans groups about the issue of transgender athletes.
“The majority of those consulted stated that transgender athletes should not be competing in the female category,” he said.
“Many believe there is insufficient evidence that trans women do not retain advantage over biological women and want more evidence that any physical advantages have been improved before they are willing to consider an option for inclusion into the female category.”
“The judgement we took…was, I believe, in the best interests of our sport.” he added.
The CEO said, a working group headed by a transgender person would be created to further monitor scientific developments.
“We’re not saying ‘no’ forever,” Coe sad.
“Decisions are always difficult when they involve conflicting needs and rights between different groups , but we continue to take view that we must maintain fairness for athletes above all other considerations.”
In a statement, world Athletics said it became apparent that there ‘little support within the sport’ for an option that was presented to stakeholders, which required transgender athletes to maintain their testosterone levels below 2.5nmol/L for 24 months to be eligible to compete internationally in the female category.
“There are currently no transgender athletes competing internationally in athletics and consequently no athletic-specific evidence of the impact these athletes would have on the fairness of female competition in athletics.”
“In these circumstances, the Council decided to prioritize fairness and the integrity of the female competition before inclusion.’
This ruling follows that of FINA, swimming’s world governing body, which has stopped transgender swimmers who had gone through male puberty from competing in women’s elite races.
In 2020, World rugby, was the first international sport federation to rule that transgender male-to-female could not compete at women’s international games.
World Athletics also adjusted regulations covering athletes classified as ‘Difference of Sexual Development.”(DSD).
The high-profile DSD athlete is double Olympic 800m champion Cater Semenya of South Africa.
In the regulations, in order to compete in the female category, DSD athletes will have to reduce their amount of blood testosterone to below 2.5 nanomoles per L, down from the current level of five , and remain below this threshold for two years, rather than just one.
The World Athletics also removed the principle restricted events for DSD athletes , meaning regulations now cover all events rather than the previous monitored ones, the 400m to one mile.