In the new given guidelines, Transgender women may not participate in elite and international women’s rugby, the sport’s global governing body World Rugby said, amid a heated debate on the issue in sports leagues and LGBT+ communities.
World Rugby have said the naturally acquired physical benefits that trans women receive by going through male puberty and the safety concerns for other female players made trans women ineligible for competition.
However, Trans men could compete in men’s contact rugby. “Given the best available evidence for the effects of testosterone reduction on these physical attributes for transgender women, it was concluded that safety and fairness cannot presently be assured for women competing against Trans women in contact rugby,” World Rugby said in a statement.
The inclusion of Trans women in elite sport has proved divisive, with sports federations grappling to find a balance between fairness and inclusion. National unions had allowed Trans women to compete at community level. Opponents argue that Trans women athletes have unfair physical advantages even after transition, citing greater muscle density, bone strength and lung capacity.
But transgender advocates say inclusiveness should be the overriding factor and blocking trans athletes from women’s sport only increases the stigma and discrimination they face.U.S. Trans rugby player Grace McKenzie said World Rugby had adopted a transphobic policy “lacking supporting evidence and rooted in poor science”, following the decision.
“This … calls into question their guiding principles of diversity and inclusion, and puts them behind all other international governing sport bodies in creating a welcoming environment for their athletes,” McKenzie said in a statement.Follow us in social media: