IOC Loosens Guidelines On Transgender Olympic Participation

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has relaxed its policy on transgender athletes, no longer requiring sex reassignment surgery for an athlete to compete in the Olympic Games.

The Associated Press reported on the new IOC guidelines Sunday. According to the AP, the new policy no longer requires surgery for eligibility, leaving no restrictions on female-to-male transgender athletes for Olympic participation.

Male-to-female transgender athletes, meanwhile, no longer need gender reassignment surgery, but do have to show a testosterone level under a certain cutoff barrier for at least a full year before gaining eligibility. That means at least a year of hormone therapy, and more than a year in many cases – the AP report notes that different people see their testosterone levels drop at different rates after starting hormone therapy. An athlete will have to get below the limit before the one-year countdown to eligibility begins.

The old IOC guidelines (adopted in 2003) required both female-to-male and male-to-female transgender athletes to undergo gender reassignment surgery and go through two or more years of hormone therapy.

It should be noted that the IOC guidelines are not strict rules – they are recommendations for each international sports federation to follow in crafting their own specific rules on transgender participation.

The AP reports that IOC officials said they changed the guidelines “to adapt to current scientific, social and legal attitudes on transgender issues.”

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Swimmer33

Wow I can’t even begin to describe how messed up this is. I’m a doctor and I can say that your chromosomes define you as male or female and you aren’t going to change those. It’s still unfair no matter what to allow a genetic male compete with females.

BaldingEagle

Since you’re a doctor, I’m sure you’ve read scientific/medical/psychiatric literature that indicates that while there is chromosomal sex, there is also gender, which is not always determined by chromosomes. Since testosterone in effect increases muscular strength, then a radical reduction in testosterone through hormone therapy will not give an undue advantage to a M-F transsexual. Certainly the muscles may have grown and developed in a testosterone environment while the person was a male, but removal of testosterone in real-time life and training confers no advantage to the muscles, even on taller and bigger-boned athletes who may have been males. Have you ever seen bodybuilders after they quit the Juice? Flabby, fat, and low-performing. In fact, since testosterone actually protects against… Read more »

LauraM

So if Mike Tyson took a year of HRT therapy he’d be on par and pose no physical advantage to female boxers? Shaq should play on the women’s basketball team because he’d pose no advantage after 1 year of HRT. Janae Kroc, a now transgender for champion weightlifter would be completely on par with female weightlifters after 1 year of HRT? No. Of course not. All of these athlete’s muscles would have shriveled to the point of a genetic female’s muscles? The larger heart, longer and denser bones, larger shoulders, bigger hands and feet, narrower hips, greater lung capacity,larger portion of type 2 muscle fibers, which generate power, strength and speed that were gained from testosterone, cease to exist? I’m… Read more »

TAK

Your heart is in the right place but I question your argument. Please share a list of females who became males and then dominated in male athlete competition. That will give your assertion credibility.

John

I totally agree!!!

John

I totally agree!!! With swimmer33.

Gina Rhinestone

The only way to stop Ledecky winning forever .

Btw we don’t want some big ugly brute but someone personable , stylish & a slinky hipped without monster feet & man hands to make it fair & watchable . I’m going to scan the Brazilian distance boys for possibilities.

I was getting bored with sport but this could be fun.

sven

I dunno, Gina, I like the idea of making the women’s distance events less of a bloodbath but I’m afraid it’s likely that none of those boys are so far ahead of KL that they could sustain a massive drop in testosterone levels and still win.

Gina Rhinestone

Yes ! For research purpose I studied the Brazilian mens pics & have got quite a few possibilities . I think I could do something with the faces , might have to shave off some jawline & adams apple surgery but great prospects . I think we will need some extra compression undies & hollywood tape but it’s all good .

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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