World Athletics has officially banned transgender women from competing in the female category of track and field, and they have broadened regulations of intersex athletes.
The step had been expected for some time, as the organization had signaled it would likely tighten regulations.
World Athletics conducted a consultation period with various stakeholders in the first two months of this year, including Member Federations, the Global Athletics Coaches Academy and Athletes’ Commission, the IOC as well as representative transgender and human rights groups.
It became apparent that there was little support within the sport for the option that was first 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.
In addition, intersex athletes — those who may exhibit both male and female sex characteristics — will in all categories be mandated to maintain that testosterone level of 2.5nmol/L for 24 months to compete.
There are various women believed to be intersex who have competed in the Olympics, most notably South Africa’s Caster Semenya, Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Namibian runners Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma.
The regulations will take effect on March 31 of this year, which happens to land on International Transgender Day of Visibility, a point of sad irony.