Press Release31 Oct 2019

International federations discuss consensus on establishing rules for transgender athletes


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A group of international federations have discussed a consensus on establishing rules that will allow transgender athletes to enter elite female competition.

The meeting on transgender eligibility, hosted by the IAAF in Lausanne on 19 October and attended by representatives of a number of international federations, heard from a range of invited experts in relevant disciplinary fields and from both cis and trans athletes.

After a full day of presentations and discussions, the international federations, which include the International Paralympic Committee, the International Tennis Federation, World Rowing, the International Golf Federation, and the IAAF, agreed on the following:

  • They remain committed to fair and equal opportunity for female athletes
  • The inclusion of trans women within the female category should be promoted with meaningful eligibility standards, provided it does not create intolerable unfairness
  • Rules intended to accommodate trans athletes should be sports-specific and designed by the relevant international federation.
  • Testosterone is the primary known driver of the performance gap between males and females and serum Testosterone is regarded as an acceptable proxy to distinguish male from female athletes.
  • If a federation decides to use serum Testosterone for this purpose, it should adopt a fixed threshold at or below 5nmol/L for eligibility for the female category.
  • More research is needed on this issue and should be encouraged by sports federations.

The meeting established two working groups, which will help interested international federations to draft their own transgender eligibility rules and establish a medical and scientific network to promote research in the area of transgender athletes.

The full report of the meeting can be found here.