British Cycling Changes Rules for Transgender Women

They must compete in the men's category
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2023 3:45 PM CDT
British Cycling Changes Rules for Transgender Women
A woman waves a British flag prior to the start of an event at the road cycling World Championships in Richmond, England, in 2019.   (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Transgender women will no longer be allowed to compete in the female category in UK cycling races, the sport's governing organization has announced. British Cycling said its decision, reached after a nine-month review and scheduled to take effect by the end of the year, was based on fairness, the BBC reports. "Research studies indicate that even with the suppression of testosterone, transgender women who transition post-puberty retain a performance advantage," the organization said. So women's races will be limited to participants "whose sex was assigned female at birth." Transgender women will be able to compete in an open category, which replaces the men's classification, as will transgender men and non-binary entrants.

Emily Bridges, as the nation's best-known transgender cyclist, is the face of the issue in the UK. Female competitors had threatened a boycott last year unless Bridges, who was still registered as a male cyclist, was barred from racing in the female category, per the Guardian. The new policy apparently ends Bridges' hopes of competing for the UK women's team; transgender women had been allowed in top female events if they met testosterone-based rules. Bridges called the decision "a violent act," writing, "I agree that there needs to be a nuanced policy discussion and continue to conduct research, but this hasn't happened." (More transgender stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.