British Cycling, the national governing body which oversees cycling events in the UK, has banned males identifying as women from women’s cycling events.
British Cycling announced the suspension of its Transgender and Non-binary Participation Policy on Friday, citing the need to reconcile its code with that of the international cycling governing body (UCI), the New York Post reports.
“It is currently possible for trans-female athletes to gain eligibility to race domestically while their cases remain pending with the UCI (or indeed in situations where they are deemed ineligible),” British Cycling declared in a statement.
“[This allows riders to] accrue domestic ranking points which impact selection decisions for National Championship races, which is not only unprecedented … but is also unfair on all women riders and poses a challenge to the integrity of racing.”
UCI Track Champions League in London, England (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
British Cycling’s previous policy had required males identifying as females to demonstrate testosterone levels below a certain level for one year. However, despite claiming that he satisfied that requirement, British trans cyclist Emily Bridges was banned from an upcoming event.
Authorities with British Cycling claim UCI informed them that Bridges would not be able to ride in the event because he was still registered to compete as a male in international competitions.
“Bridges began hormone therapy last year to reduce her testosterone levels after having previously set a national junior men’s record over 25 miles in 2018,” the New York Post reports.
Trans competitors and the effects of hormone therapy have come under increased scrutiny after American swimmer Lia Thomas, a male identifying as a woman, smashed women’s swimming records and defeated multiple Olympic swimmers despite a thoroughly average record in men’s swimming and taking testosterone therapy for 2 1/2 years.
Lia Thomas just took first place at the 2022 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships in the 500 freestyle. #SaveWomensSports pic.twitter.com/UWvDQMYHRJ
— Colin Wright (@SwipeWright) March 17, 2022
British Cycling gave a timeframe of several weeks for determining their new policy. The governing body also pledged to include representation from the transgender community in the process.