Understanding the UCI's New Policies for Transgender Athletes

Jun 19, 2022 at 8:11
by Alicia Leggett  



The UCI recently announced its first major revision to transgender competition participation rules since 2020. The policies went into effect today, July 1st 2022, increasing the amount of time required to transition and lowering the maximum plasma testosterone level permitted for transgender female athletes.

In a June 16th press release reporting from the UCI's regular meeting session with its management committee in Arzon, France, the UCI wrote that it had decided to change its rules following new research in 2020 and 2021. Now, athletes who have transitioned from male to female will be required to prove that their blood testosterone has been below the permitted level for 24 months - doubled from 12 - before competing in the women's category. The release cites findings that while markers of endurance ability lower to "female level" after six to eight months, the decreases in muscle mass, strength, and power take longer.

The UCI will also be halving the maximum permitted plasma testosterone for transgender female athletes in competition, lowering the limit from 5 nmol/L to 2.5 nmol/L. In early 2020, the UCI lowered the limit from 10 nmol/L and introduced the 12-month transition period. In addition to meeting these new requirements, athletes will have their requests to participate in the women's category assessed and decided by a panel of international experts independent of the UCI and must regularly undergo serum testosterone tests for their entire time in women's competition.

The UCI Press Release Section Relating to Transgender Athletes:

In March 2020, the UCI published rules governing the participation of transgender athletes in events on the UCI International Calendar in the category corresponding to their new gender identity. Although these rules are stricter and more restrictive than those published by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2015, the UCI has begun consideration on their adjustment following the publication of new scientific studies in 2020 and 2021. The principle of eligibility of transgender athletes (in particular female athletes, ie those who have made a transition from male to female) is based on the reversibility under low blood testosterone (the level commonly observed in “born female” athletes) of the physiological abilities that determine sports performance, and on the time needed to achieve this reversibility.

The latest scientific publications clearly demonstrate that the return of markers of endurance capacity to “female level” occurs within six to eight months under low blood testosterone, while the awaited adaptations in muscle mass and muscle strength/power take much longer (two years minimum according to a recent study). Given the important role played by muscle strength and power in cycling performance, the UCI has decided to increase the transition period on low testosterone from 12 to 24 months. In addition, the UCI has decided to lower the maximum permitted plasma testosterone level (currently 5 nmol/L) to 2.5 nmol/L. This value corresponds to the maximum testosterone level found in 99.99% of the female population.

This adjustment of the UCI’s eligibility rules is based on the state of scientific knowledge published to date in this area and is intended to promote the integration of transgender athletes into competitive sport, while maintaining fairness, equal opportunities and the safety of competitions. The new rules will come into force on 1st July. They may change in the future as scientific knowledge evolves.

Moreover, the UCI envisages discussions with other International Federations about the possibility of supporting a research programme whose objective would be to study the evolution of the physical performance of highly trained athletes under transitional hormone treatment.





On fairness & balance

Previously, some cisgender - i.e. not transgender - female athletes have raised concerns about the testosterone levels of their transgender competitors. Conversely, some advocates believe that a testosterone-centric approach is too simplistic, that testosterone alone isn't a clear determinant of athletic performance, and that unnecessarily invasive testing and policing could have unintended consequences for access to the sport, especially at grassroots levels.

Several professional mountain bikers we spoke to say the UCI has struck an appropriate balance here. Professional downhill racer Kate Weatherly, who is transgender, told us she feels the new rules are fair, as they allow room for trans women to participate while setting reasonable physiological limits as we learn more about any advantages trans women may have compared to the rest of the women's field.

bigquotesOverall, I feel that the decision made by the UCI to change their transgender inclusion policy is a positive one. By extending the required period before trans women can compete and reducing the testosterone limit the rules are indicative of the ever evolving understanding of trans people and our place in the sporting world. An extra year is a relatively insignificant amount of time in a transition, a process that often takes many years. In addition, most trans women with successfully blocked testosterone would still fall well below the 2.5 nmol/L limit (most trans women sitting at around 0.5 nmol/L).

Transgender inclusion in sports is a complex discussion and decisions need to consider the experiences of all involved with a focus on evidence rather than opinion. Many people are concerned about the perceived threat to women’s sports that transgender women present. However, with rules in place like that of the UCI, governing bodies can ensure that trans women have successfully undergone a medical transition to reduce any advantage that may be present from male puberty while still ensuring fair and accessible competition. I feel that tightening restrictions on trans athletes is appropriate as long as those decisions are made from an educated perspective without influence from existing biases that potentially unjustly ban trans women from competition.
Kate Weatherly

Best result yet for Kate Weatherly taking home third.
Kate Weatherly says the UCI's policy update is a positive one. Photo: Andy Vathis

What does the research say right now?

As trans athletes remain relatively unstudied, most sports have relied on plasma testosterone levels to determine which athletes are allowed to compete with cisgender women. As part of the medical transition process, trans women take medications that suppress testosterone, typically leading to testosterone levels well below the average for cisgender women. What follows is a decrease in strength, mass, bone density, and recovery. Studies have yielded mixed results on just how much performance dips, and it seems to vary across sports - transgender runners appear to maintain little to no advantage, while athletes in strength-based sports may maintain some strength- and mass-based benefits.

Estimates vary when it comes to the athletic performance difference, on average, between men and women. At the Fort William World Cup DH race this year, the top five women's times averaged 16% slower than those of the top five men, with the gap decreasing toward the top riders. Nina Hoffmann's winning time was 13% behind Amaury Pierron's. However, the role of testosterone appears to only account for a small part of the athletic difference between men and women. Other factors include physical size and shape as well as socialization - factors that differ on average between men and women, but include significant overlap between the sexes. The topic is further complicated, too, by the fact that sex isn't as easily defined in the binary, genetically, as it's easy to believe: a commonly estimated 1.7% (though other estimates range from 0.018%-4%) of people are born outside of the common "XX = female and XY = male" configuration: XXX, XYY, XX but showing a typical male phenotype, XY but showing a typical female phenotype, and other possibilities. The binary paradigm accurately describes most - but not all - assignment of birth sex, and it's around the edges that that simplification becomes problematic.

It appears, too, that women with genetic variations from the average sometimes have athletic advantages: The prevalence of 46 XY - a typical male chromosomal arrangement displaying typically female physical characteristics - among female athletes is about 7 per 1000 adults, which is 140 times what is seen in the general population. Much like genetic variations from the average in height, strength, mass, and other physical factors - not to mention variations in socioeconomic factors that generate advantage - biological variation affects athletic performance, too, on a very broad spectrum. It's an understatement to say that the issue is complex, and with that much gray area, the black-and-white line becomes a bit arbitrary. That line, restricting those outside of the most common 46 XX female chromosomal genotype and testosterone limit, has affected not only transgender athletes, but athletes born and raised female, who happen to fall outside of the norms, like Olympic track runner Caster Semaya, who has effectively been banned from racing unless she decides to medically lower her testosterone.

Chromosomal definitions aside, scientists are also divided on whether having experienced male puberty affects post-transition athletic performance for transgender women. In 2019, the International Olympic Committee met to try to create new guidelines for the inclusion of transgender athletes at the 2020 Olympic Games, but ended up leaving its previous guidelines in place until late 2021. The IOC had long limited athletes' testosterone levels to 10 nmol/L and had proposed halving that figure, for a similar policy to the UCI's former one. However, some members of the discussion honed in on transgender women being, on average, bigger and stronger than cisgender women, and argued that even with suppressed testosterone, trans women would still have an advantage. The discussion was abandoned because there was no consensus.

The paper by Xavier Bigard cited by the UCI in its recent update, titled "The current knowledge on the effects of gender-affirming treatment on markers of performance in transgender female cyclists," concludes that 12 months of testosterone suppression is not long enough to erase the physical strength advantages, thus the change to a 24-month transition period. Above all, the paper emphasizes the need for more research. Bigard is a previous scientific advisor of the French anti-doping agency and former president of the French Society for Sports and Exercise Medicine (SFMES) and is currently the medical director of the UCI.

The broader context of trans athletes in women's sports

The new UCI rules come at a time when multiple sports governing bodies are reassessing their guidelines for transgender athlete participation. The world swimming governing body, FINA, recently approved new regulations that effectively ban any transgender women who have gone through any stage of male puberty from participating in elite women's swimming competitions, currently the strictest policy from any Olympic sports body.

FINA also plans to introduce an 'open' category, in which trans and nonbinary athletes can compete regardless of assigned birth sex, testosterone level, or puberty history. A similar category has been suggested for bike racing, but the extremely small number of transgender women racing mountain bikes means that such a category would take away a competitive element that, for most athletes, is at the heart of racing. Some advocates also say that such a category would also continue to 'other' trans people, who already face numerous social and emotional barriers to acceptance within their communities.

Following FINA's decision, world soccer federation FIFA announced that it, too, is reassessing its rules for transgender athlete participation, but has declined to reveal the specifics.

The IOC, for its part, has moved in the opposite direction. Rather than restricting athletes' testosterone levels, as was the policy from 2015 until late 2021, the IOC has shifted the decision-making to sports' individual global governing bodies, meaning that the regulations are likely to vary significantly across sports. The organization did, however, add an emphasis on inclusion over exclusion: "Until evidence determines otherwise, athletes should not be deemed to have an unfair or disproportionate competitive advantage due to their sex variations, physical appearance and/or transgender status." Still, revision to FINA's, FIFA's, and the UCI's regulations may signal turning points for more governing bodies, and the ripple effect will likely affect not only elite sports but national, local, and scholastic leagues, too.

The United States has reckoned with gender inclusion in sports for decades, but tensions have bubbled over in the last two years, during which nine states have enacted rules that bar transgender girls and women from competing in women's sports at public schools. Some advocates have expressed worry that FINA's new regulations will set a precedent to make other such bans more likely in the future.



This discussion is complex, and there are no easy answers - for anyone. Physiological and biological factors are just some of many factors that affect athletic performance, especially alongside similarly impactful sociological factors. Enduro racer and freerider Blake Hansen, who is transgender, supports the UCI's new legislation as "balanced and science-based" while also prompting us to look beyond the racing itself: "We should be talking more about the real world implications of inclusion vs exclusion when we talk about transgender people." Alongside the scientific discussions, "can you imagine what that must make a child feel like who can't participate on their swim team anymore? Not to mention everything else they're already up against. We should all be doing everything we can to change that."

Regardless of how we make sense of the many competing elements at play, one thing is clear: as Bigard suggested, we need more research. Given the very small number of transgender elite athletes, study is slow, but the more we learn the more we can understand how to move forward in a way that is as inclusive and fair as possible. In the meantime, let's remember that we're all trying to uphold the pursuit of excellence, challenge, and camaraderie that's at the heart of competitive sports.

Comment Moderation
As these conversations unfold, please remember that there are other people at the end of your words. We expect the comments here to be respectful and constructive. Specifically, don’t violate Pinkbike's terms of use, which state that any hate speech or personal attacks will not be tolerated. Pinkbike, like other platforms and media companies, considers misgendering and ‘deadnaming’ (using someone’s former name) to be slurs and personal attacks. Don't do it.

The aim is not to censor conversations or ideas, but just like other slurs, misgendering and deadnaming are not welcome on our platform. Violations of Pinkbike’s terms of use may result in suspensions or bans. Harassment, bullying, or incitements to violence will result in lifetime bans.



668 Comments

  • 379 14
 @alicialeggett: This is an excellently written article. I'm sure it's not easy to cover such a controversial and complex topic.
  • 136 3
 Hey @Spencermon, I really appreciate the kind words Smile
  • 81 1
 @alicialeggett: Nice work, I really liked that the content read like a research based essay rather than an opinion piece. The content and flow was concise and cohesive.

Also kudos for commiting to writing on such a sensitive subject and imo elevating the conversation
  • 11 1
 @alicialeggett: was going to say the same thing. Great job unpacking that.
  • 31 2
 I understand this subject more clearly after reading this article. Here to support that comment. Thanks Alicia, Kate, and Blake.
  • 21 2
 I learnt more from this one article than I have from many, many other pieces I’ve read elsewhere. Thanks Alicia, this really educated me.
  • 10 8
 Boom. Need more articles like this on all topics and maybe folks will take the time to understand and think instead of getting pissed.
  • 35 69
flag likeittacky (Jul 1, 2022 at 22:43) (Below Threshold)
 The future sucks imo, Hope you all enjoy the circus of events!
  • 96 6
 If the situation was one that could be made fair then we'd also be having a conversation about female athletes who transition being competitive in male races. The fact this never comes up is very telling. The only truly fair solution is a trans category.
  • 64 10
 @Brown-Stain: I would prefer to see articles that offer a more balanced perspective. A transgender athlete who has transitioned from male to female is the only athlete quoted early in the article, with no perspective from the many out there who support the alternative FINA approach for many valid reasons.

The FINA approach is mentioned, but then there are these two well-written seen seen sentences criticizing it without any rebuttal or perspective allowed from alternative opinions:

A similar category has been suggested for bike racing, but the extremely small number of transgender women racing mountain bikes means that such a category would take away a competitive element that, for most athletes, is at the heart of racing. Some advocates also say that such a category would also continue to 'other' trans people, who already face numerous social and emotional barriers to acceptance within their communities.


The article doesn't include any perspective from the non-trans women who are affected by this issue.
The article also doesn't take into account perspective of biological females who have become males. It primarily expresses the perspective of biological males who have become females, like Kate. Under the UCI plan, biological females athletes will face severe disadvantage with little chance to be competitive. Which is why trans athletes should have their own category to be fair to everyone. This article offers tells the other side of the story:

www.google.com/amp/s/sports.yahoo.com/amphtml/fina-found-the-fairest-solution-to-the-transgender-issue-in-sports-183133124.html

"Taken to its logical conclusions, where there might be a dozen, or dozens, of transgender athletes competing in a race, female athletes would be boxed out of elite competition or even put at physical risk in contact sports such as soccer and basketball.

“Without eligibility standards based on biological sex or sex-linked traits, we are very unlikely to see biological females in finals, on podiums, or in championship positions,” FINA’s policy paper concluded.

Previously FINA, and other organizations, tried to handle this through the testing of testosterone levels. However, its research showed that obvious advantages can come through going through puberty as a boy — in swimming’s case things like height, arm length, hand and foot size and so on."
  • 13 4
 @DoubleCrownAddict: the facial expressions of the women in the image in your linked article are priceless--Sullivan's choice of headwear tops it. Sebastian Coe's remark about fairness being more pertinent to competition than inclusion seems key.

How are Trans-athletes going to feel in 2030, after UCI is done milking this issue for all its regulatory-political-commercial potential, reverses course and strips them of their palmarès?

@commental: does this mean also giving LGBQIA their own category or categories? Intersexuals could be a big problem, since according to Amnesty, they represent 1.7% of the population
  • 61 40
 There is a story currently circulating in news of a 29 year old trans skateboarder that has won a competition beating a 13 yr old girl securing a 1st place win and plans to work on dominating to gain points and eventually move up to Olympic status... This is so messed up and it pisses me and many others off big time!

I have no sympathy for someone and or their supporters (feelings), as they positions themselves in these competitions, while other competitors suffer mental anguish after having invested and sacrificed so much- time, energy, money and hardships to excel in their proper categories, only to be abandoned from the reward of a win, podium positions + earnings for their achievement's of diligence, fortitude and hard work ethic.

This particular issue is a construed atmosphere, where society is being manipulated to have special feelings and to direct special attention to those that feel they have been wronged or shunned by the majority for their choice and or disposition; while exacerbating their emotions which have become a dictator over society and it's inalienable right to reject such a notion and participation / enrollment into competitive events of opposite gender or age groups. Thus, the overlooked and non- regard for the field of competitors being forced to relinquish all they sacrificed and worked for is a devastating blow to their well-being if not more than it is for the one's with identity or gender issues.

I do believe none of us are perfect in this world and we all have fallen short of Gods glory and His will for our lives. Therefore, it is best if we respect the fundamental aspects of "Do unto others as you would have them to do to you".
Luke 6:31

Aside from all the back and forth clamoring and remarks towards one another that i myself and many others on this site have participated in, in the past; this is not being hypocritical or as to push religion but rather to express the Golden Rule and it's value without question and helps us to all be unified aside from our indifference's; in turn, producing gracious Human Beings.
  • 20 20
 @likeittacky:
Could be fun? A bunch of confused people with jumbled parts running/biking around complaining.
  • 29 14
 @likeittacky: *contrived. Don't be the guy who only cares about the first 3 letters of long words.

And can we not be human without Luke 90210 sticking his oar in? You can quote any part of the bible to back any argument, but it's reverse engineering at best, complete mental annihilation at worst.

As for the rest, maybe.
  • 8 3
 It doesn't even touches the reality of the issue, controversial maybe, complex not
  • 27 7
 @ceecee: Personally I think anyone who has to take drugs to alter their hormone levels should be in a different category.
What I don't understand is the difference in the treatment of male athletes who transition compared to female athletes who transition. We don't seem to be too concerned about inclusivity for these athletes, otherwise more would be done to level the playing field for females who transition. Currently everyone just acknowledges they aren't competitive and seems to accept that status quo, but when it's an athlete transitioning in the opposite direction we move heaven and earth to accommodate them. If we're not going to make concessions for the one group should we be doing so for the other? Reeks of inequality to me.
  • 7 9
 @commental: problem is "inclusivity" and whatever that is.
  • 11 4
 @adespotoskyli: Seems the UCI are only concerned about the ability of some to participate. In their statement they talk about "fairness" and "equal opportunities" while totally ignoring the fact that this can only work for one transitional direction. Unless we implement some sort of handicap system for male racers or allow doping so the other side of the coin can be included.
Alternatively a separate category is a way where the inclusivity box can be ticked.
  • 6 7
 @commental: how is this fair no one explained it though, as if the hurt feelings of anyone, in this case a trans ftm or mtf is relative with what's fair. Total bs. They are concerned more about the feelings of anyone that can be offended for whatever madeup reason and then create a group of unwanted misfits to hug them with the inclusivity label.
  • 3 0
 @commental: you're talking about people who transition meeting in the middle, whichever direction they're going in. A middlesex. As someone born in that county this makes perfect sense to me. However at some point someone going male to female is going to be more female than a female switching to male. Fairness not achieved. And what proportion of trans people want to be equal halfs of both to ensure a "level" playing field. What happens to the Caster Semanyas of this world? What a headf*ck.
  • 15 13
 @BenPea: problem is, there's no middle ground you're either male or female with the exeptions being rather rare and worthy of medical research. What anyone identifies with it's irrelevant to others,
  • 9 7
 @BenPea: race your biology. Hormone supplements are drugs. Drugs are not permitted. Hermaphrodites may have a separate category, so long as they haven't transitioned through surgery.

My problem with taking this position is that it makes me look like a fundamentalist
  • 2 0
 @ceecee: Pragmatist. Pragmatism always has unlucky victims. But fewer than non-pragmatism.

@adespotoskyli: I get it. Yes, our understanding is still pretty basic. It could be beyond rationalizing.
  • 3 16
flag Jshemuel (Jul 3, 2022 at 8:55) (Below Threshold)
 @ceecee: no, it makes you look like an ignorant idiot who doesn't understand the issue you're commenting on.
  • 3 11
flag cmf95 (Jul 3, 2022 at 21:56) (Below Threshold)
 @commental: So, if someone needs to take thyroid hormone medication, due to a genetic thyroid disease, they should be put into a different category? An athlete on hormonal birth control?
  • 7 2
 @cmf95: Dear Red. Have you been eating herring for breakfast again? Remember to brush your teeth after. It's a stinky rhetorical device.
  • 3 2
 @likeittacky: really busted out your thesaurus for that one.
  • 2 1
 @cameront91: or maybe he's just way smarter than you. Seems more plausible.
  • 2 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: I think it was in reference to the misuse of words and obvious malapropisms, indicating they aren’t as ‘smart’ as they’re trying to appear
  • 1 0
 @cmrn: my apologies if I misread.
  • 1 0
 @commental: I was just thinking that. Add a category. No controversy that way. Regardless how people view the whole transgender thing this seems to be the most logical solution.
  • 1 0
 @commental: Agreed. I have always wondered why they don't do this.
  • 1 2
 @krausedmb: inclusion possibl? Same as us #Ebikers we just want recognition! Were humans too.
  • 226 69
 Possibly a controversial opinion, why not give trans athletes their own category?
  • 45 2
 I think that’s what the open category is for
  • 76 14
 I fail to see what is so controversial about it...
Can anyone make a reasonable point against it?
  • 286 250
 The whole reason they are competing in the female category is to exploit how easy it is for a biological male to win against females
  • 20 2
 @Gwizard: Yeah I read that bit and the bit that said it would take away the competitive element for athletes. I kinda get that point but if you look at the numbers that used to race in the women's category and use the same argument about low numbers (still relatively low compared to mens) we would never have had a womens field at all. So just give them the open category as an option and start with what ever numbers you get.
  • 56 63
flag Spencermon (Jul 1, 2022 at 12:49) (Below Threshold)
 @human-after-all: have you talked to any of them? have you asked anyone their reasons? or are you just assuming?
  • 28 4
 @hubertje-ryu: The existence of an "open" category implies the athletes are not "really" the gender they have transitioned to, since they do not compete in that gender's category. It's a sensitive subject because while what I said is true, you also have to set rules to ensure a fair competition. I think we'll see policy on the subject change as we learn more but I'm at least happy to see positive feedback from Kate Weatherly on the UCIs current policy.
  • 95 32
 @hubertje-ryu @fatduke from Alicia's article above:

"(...) the extremely small number of transgender women racing mountain bikes means that such a category would take away a competitive element that, for most athletes, is at the heart of racing. Some advocates also say that such a category would also continue to 'other' trans people, who already face numerous social and emotional barriers to acceptance within their communities."
  • 171 80
 @brianpark: Perfect, as it's such an extremely small number there will also be an extremely small impact of banning all born biologically male athletes from competing in female sports.
  • 56 16
 @brianpark: Again I shall point out that womens racing started in small numbers and if we used the same argument we wouldn't have womens racing either. Heck I bet back in the early days of DH there weren't many anyone racing and look at the categories we have now in terms of juniors, masters, veterans and elites. If you give them some where to race they will come.
  • 38 42
flag oldfaith (Jul 1, 2022 at 13:09) (Below Threshold)
 Perhaps it could be that a female athlete who places below a transgender athlete is equal to her position, for example in Leogang 2019, Kate finished 3rd place above Cabirou in 4th, perhaps Cabirou should be considered 3rd equal. Raphaela who placed 6th would also podium and no female athlete born female would be disadvantaged by Transgender athletes competing in the women's field.
  • 40 19
 Not controversial so much as a reasonable step that unreasonable people get upset about and try to degrade your opinion with evocative language that results in an ad hominem argument. By creating that category they don't have to keep changing the rules all the time as they potentially affect cisgender women's attempts at winning if/when they find out previous year's rulings on trans athletes were insufficient. And what do they do if major new research shows a flaw in their old rulings? Do they revoke the status of anyone in the cisgender category because they were transgender and over the new ruling's limitations? That's not fair to the winner, but it's also not fair to cis-athletes who were potentially denied victory in those years.

This is a very complicated topic that isn't well researched, thus a new category would remove complications that are due to ignorance on the subject.
  • 57 38
 @fatduke: Putting aside that many trans people object to being placed into another category, the scale you're suggesting doesn't make sense to me. Women make up nearly half the population, whereas trans women make up a much smaller percentage. Having that small a pool of potential racers would make it incredibly difficult to achieve critical mass for a meaningfully competitive series.
  • 32 18
 @fatduke: It's a pretty different situation, seeing as women are an extremely large portion of the general population and trans folks are an extremely small portion of the population.
  • 3 6
 @hubertje-ryu: Wow, really?
  • 118 11
 @brianpark: without regard for size of the pool of competitors, when do physical advantages that are unrelated to current testosterone levels arise? Things like lung size (men have 10-12% larger lungs than women) and heart function (male hearts are more efficient and oxygenate at higher rates) don’t disappear with testosterone suppression.

It seems that a scientific approach would look more like FINA’s policies. Haven’t science deniers done enough damage over the past 2.5 years?
  • 35 193
flag brianpark Mod (Jul 1, 2022 at 13:21) (Below Threshold)
 @Mntneer what about basketball players who are taller than average men?
  • 128 22
 @brianpark: you’ve failed to address why you think it’s valid to ignore science?

Yes, people have advantages. A basketball player will also fail in horse race because they are too big. Should someone be allowed to have an advantage in a sport because they want to play it and fairness goes out the window? It’s fine to say that you are a science denier and are more interested in social inclusion.
  • 10 20
flag mi-bike (Jul 1, 2022 at 13:24) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark: And, closer to home, KOM-holders who are lighter weight than average cyslists.
  • 96 12
 @brianpark: @alicialeggett:

Could argue that disabled people are also a small portion of the population but look at how big the Paralympics has become from where it started off. Once you give people a platform to work from the platform becomes bigger and more popular.
  • 10 55
flag Villgaxx (Jul 1, 2022 at 13:26) (Below Threshold)
 @Torrrx: oops, i didn't mean to upvote this shabby bigotry.
  • 34 26
 @alicialeggett: Athletes at the top level are an extremely small portion of the population. What portion of a larger population that exists is irrelevant if the number within the studied population, where top athletes is the studied population, is significant.

Some of you haven't taken any classes on statistics and it shows.
  • 14 16
 @fatduke: you're talking about a group that makes up 50% of the population vs a group that makes up 0.25% of the population. It's really not comparable
  • 35 22
 @human-after-all: Isn't the whole point of transitioning to be able to live like the gender you feel like? If you categorise someone as other you're removing that possibly, which in turn makes an effective transition incompatible with competing in an Other category. Perhaps the UCI have got it right? Perhaps there is no fair way to do it? I don't know but I'm glad they're trying
  • 7 3
 @src248: I've also stated that groups of individuals (less than 50%) have found success in creating their own events. Everyone has to start some where but feel free to add something to the conversation that some one hasn't already said.
  • 9 18
flag Mac1987 (Jul 1, 2022 at 13:56) (Below Threshold)
 @hubertje-ryu: probably that this would make the trans athletes not feel like real women (because it puts emphasis on them being trans as opposed to born women), which is the whole point of the transition. On the other end, if and when a trans athlete wins, there'll always be complains about unfair advantages. It's a very complex topic for a reason. With boxing, I'm firmly in the 'let's not take the risk' category, but with racing, I'm with Kate on the 'let's follow the science'.
  • 66 9
 @brianpark: "Putting aside that many trans people object to being placed into another category" could argue that many cisgender athletes object to having transgender athletes in the same category. Can't please everyone though can we.
  • 39 41
 @brianpark: Man, you always came across as a bit of an idiot trolling the NSMB boards back in the day, but that was beyond ridiculous.

Your counter argument is a facetiously disingenuous remark about segregating further based on biological differences, in a comment section relating to an article about trans inclusion?

You suck, dude.
  • 34 75
flag mitochris (Jul 1, 2022 at 14:44) (Below Threshold)
 @Torrrx: how do you define “born biologically male”? Chromosome combination XY? What about XO? XXY? XY with mutations that make you female? Born with a penis? Able to grow a beard? Has to have lice sperm? Good at mansplaining? There are so many factors involved in determining sex that defining it can become difficult, and variations can stick out in society.
I think it is great that society for the large part is trying to be more inclusive, and all sides need to be heard, but all people with extreme views should give the benefit of the doubt and listen to the science, even if it is uncomfortable. The US has just shown us what happens when we stop listening with an open mind to evidence based science, and rather follow some Christian conservatives views.
  • 75 4
 @Mntneer: this seems to be often ignored. I think it’s hard to deny there are objectively verifiable advantages to having been born, lived, and trained the vast majority of your life as a male. What surprises me more than anything is that they actually personally want to compete knowing they had that advantage. While it has to be incredibly hard to have to pick between your gender and a sport you love, in fairness to other women I think the right choice is to not compete, or not transition (or accept an open category as others have mentioned). It sucks, but there are never perfect solutions to problems. But I think if we error on looking out for others, rather than ourselves, everyone would be better off. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few in most cases, and certainly in this case I think.
  • 76 9
 @Mntneer: exactly , testosterone is such a small part of the male anatomy,Generally large, faster, stronger, bigger tendons, larger bones structure, to me organisations, don't want to be honest or forthright, they just don't want the retribution from the transgender community.
In my humble opinion its wrong on every level, its strange that science is just a subjective means to an end now, point in case, some will say climate crisis, and count millions of carbon, but wont count 2 chromosomes.

Its turned into a case of feelings over facts, throwing the baby out with the bath water, yes have your own category, i see some said it has to start somewhere, but lets be honest say football ( soccer ) world cup, most men dont watch the womens football as much as the mens, so if you have a transgender category, probably only get transgenders watching that racing, similar to the para olympics, im not disregarding the Para olympics, but i have never watched it as i dont have an interest, as im not a para, but i do watch the Olympics.

So if i watched a female DH race and a Transgender won , i would probably treat it like, watching a sprinter getting caught for drugs cheating to win, and loose all interest in watching the sport.
  • 11 11
 @sheldonuvic: I guess his comment came more from a point were the reason of why someone is classified as transgender might be due to different genetics, and therefore equally within the genetic diversity as body height. How shall we classify a fertile female that has always felt and lived as a female with testosterone levels above 2.5nmol/L? I am sure they exist without knowing it. Will they be automatically be banned? I think having a discussion about gender and evidence-based arguments of what is required for performance is important.
  • 8 8
 @fatduke: true , but i always watch the Olympics, but never the Para Olympics, would i watch a transgender race, probably for an inquisitive fun factor, probably not, like i watch moto GP, but not the e-bkie Moto, i know strange, same as not interested in watching any e bike enduro racing either , not interested.

Bit like if ya had the drugged up Olympics probably wouldn't be interested in that either.
  • 1 4
 @human-after-all: You are 100% correct.
  • 44 23
 @mitochris: Has the Swedish education system fallen so far that people can not differentiate between biological male and female? Do doctors in Sweden say "it's a human" when the baby is delivered instead... lol
  • 24 74
flag mitochris (Jul 1, 2022 at 15:06) (Below Threshold)
 @Torrrx: again, how do YOU define it? So a penis or lack of is your definition of male and female? Quite obviously the Swedish education system, especially in the field of biology and genetics, is way ahead of what you went through. Please look it up. The physical appearance does not necessarily make you biological gender.
  • 4 4
 @hamncheez: Not controversial at all. Only possible way to make it legitimately fair.
  • 7 3
 Because there wouldn’t be enough athletes to compete.
  • 40 4
 @brianpark: I'm not sure that's the gotcha you think it is. We've decided to divide sport along biological sex lines, so those are the parameters we're working with. If sport were divided by a different means, we could discuss that. As it stands, there are binary, biological differences between male and female sexes (as opposed to genders). Where we draw the lines for those differences is what's debated.
  • 12 10
 For me I consider any form of man intervention as kinf of doping, so let them be as nature brought them and the way they feel or want to present themselves but competing in men/transgender category. En of the dilema.
  • 32 6
 @mitochris: There's no such thing as biological gender, there's biological sex, but gender is a social construct and the characteristics of gender vary between cultures. The same is not true of biological sex.

Sex refers to a set of biological attributes in humans and animals. It is primarily associated with physical and physiological features including chromosomes, gene expression, hormone levels and function, and reproductive/sexual anatomy. (cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/48642.html) So yes, "appearance" as you put it, I would put it as the presence or absence of certain organs and functions, is absolutely part of the definition.
  • 11 29
flag mitochris (Jul 1, 2022 at 15:39) (Below Threshold)
 @Blerger: you are correct and I meant sex and I typed wrong and couldn’t edit it anymore. My bad. I meant biological sex. But as you say, the physiological appearance is only part of it. The sex can be defined by the size of the gametes, but is that relevant in this case? The point I was trying to make is that defining the biological sex is not so easy as looking between the legs.
  • 8 1
 In boxing they divide competitors by weight classes.

Would it be possible to create a relative rank for all cycling competitors regardless of age, gender or anything else, maybe based on ranking them based on their performance relative to the winner in their previous races, averaged over say their last 5 races?

Then we just have classes for relative speed and let people get on with it?

There’s probably an obvious flaw to this - I suppose it stops people who can’t physically compete with the fastest people (usually men) from ever reaching a pinnacle, but if we make the prize money equal across categories then maybe it becomes about the competition? E.g. the racing in the Juniors at the moment is often just as interesting as the Elites. Or Touring Cars vs F1 in a car analogy.
  • 5 7
 @mitochris: here here, well said.
  • 3 2
 @mitochris: what just happened in the US? I stuck my head in the sand about six years ago.
  • 2 0
 @hubertje-ryu: Let's take DH, Kate is the only elite trans-female athlete I know of so she'd more than likely sweep up in the trans category for simply turning up and getting down the hill.

In preparation for that someone best fuel up the outrage bus because you'd have a lot of punters to pick up, I can hear the wails already.
  • 1 0
 @Gwizard: Definitely not.
  • 21 14
 @Mntneer: You know this policy change is the result of scientific studies, right?

I am not expressing a personal opinion on the topic but it is pretty hypocritical for you to be calling someone a science denier for supporting a change made to policy as the result of scientific research.
  • 30 19
 @paulmurphy1989: no its not. It uses the veneer of science.
  • 34 12
 @paulmurphy1989: I provided an evidence based and accepted range of a known and measured physical advantage that men have over women. This fact negates the claim that the 2 years of testosterone suppression eliminates the advantages that biological men have over women.

The UCI’s decision is based on limited criteria differentiating men and women, which is testosterone levels. I acknowledge this scientific fact, but also recognize that there are other irrefutable biological advantages that have nothing to do with testosterone.

I’m following the scientific method. Ignoring the other facts is the opposite of the scientific method.
  • 1 1
 @cletut: exactly my thoughts.
  • 2 1
 @Woody25: This is similar to the Elo rating system used in chess: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elo_rating_system

Some video games also use it as a convenient way to match up players of relative skill in online gaming lobbies.
  • 4 0
 @human-after-all: I can guarantee you that that is not the reason at all that a passionate individual would work so hard at such a physical endeavor. They love cycling and want to be a part of the competition.
  • 3 0
 @human-after-all: the jig is up!! You've figured out their master plans!! /s
  • 1 0
 Sounds fair for everybody. It's still a race on the same tracks with the same rewards.
  • 27 4
 @human-after-all: 100% correct. How many biological females do we see competing in the male category? None, because they woudn't stand a chance.
  • 11 28
flag dungeonbeast (Jul 1, 2022 at 19:37) (Below Threshold)
 @Betacygni:

What about a person that grows up in an affluent family Whistler versus someone who grows up economically disadvantaged in Kansas. The person in Whistler has an enormous edge in gravity mountain biking sports. Should they feel bad if they are in a contest/race with the person from Kansas? Should they opt not compete? ‘Fairness’ in sports is a complete fallacy. Is being a Transgendered person from Kansas who meets all testosterone requirements more of an advantage than growing up in Whistler and having full factory support from pre-teen age? Maybe you’d argue yes. I would argue no.
  • 5 1
 @fatduke: I object to being a slow rider who never really succeded in MTB, just because I don't like it doesn't mean it aint true.
  • 11 2
 @mitochris: the intersex conditions you allude to are extremely rare, and they do not disprove or obfuscate sexual dimorphism.
  • 1 0
 @Woody25: seems like a whole lot of trouble for what? We’ll end up with roughly the same categories we have now.
  • 8 1
 @dungeonbeast: By your logic, just get rid of male/female categories altogether. But then females would never or practically never win.
  • 3 6
 @Lanebobane: realistically we need to get rid of categories that are solely gender based. Instead we could use open and gx, with players choosing whichever category fits them best and an emphasis that they are not solely based on gender.
  • 13 11
 @Mntneer: do you have any idea the amount of garbage you have to deal with as a trans woman in our society? You think that people would put themselves through all of that to get a podium in a race category that aligns with their gender? People out here just trying to live their lives as who they are
  • 4 2
 @dungeonbeast: Im sorry but that is some weak sauce. Athlete determination is what you are describing and it makes NO difference where you are from. If you want it and you have the base skills you will get there. Instead of listening to what other people say about post puberty Transgenders do some of your own research on the facts. You will be very surprised with what you find. start with How the olympics came to there decision on Transgenders in sport. I have done a lot of research this in the past. Though most of the information is hard to come by, It is all accessible.

real unbiased Information on this subject is out there but you need to take some time to find it.
  • 4 1
 @dungeonbeast: born with and born into and very different things. your argument sucks
  • 7 13
flag everythingscomingupmilhouse (Jul 1, 2022 at 23:34) (Below Threshold)
 @human-after-all: no it isn't, and that view undermines their struggles, it paints them as being out to take advantage of people, and it assigns them with blame as it implies they're at fault for trying to take advantage of people. It's transphobic and just wrong. They are just trying to compete in the division that is for the sex they identify with, which is what everyone else is doing
  • 10 0
 @Woody25:

I like the weight class idea, I’m thinking

Racing snakes, slim, acceptable BMI, podgy, super podgy and “top of the Rock Shox fork psi chart”

I’m in the latter
  • 7 12
flag mitochris (Jul 2, 2022 at 0:02) (Below Threshold)
 @zamanfu: I completely agree with you. I wanted to point out that sex might not be so easy to define as some make it out.
All I am saying is that I think this is a discussion worth having and not as clear cut as some seem to try to make it. as the article states, testosterone levels are not the only criteria.
  • 43 3
 @everythingscomingupmilhouse: We all have struggles. calling people Transphobic is the worst argument and takes No thought about the issue at hand. So Transgender athletes should be able to compete because they have "struggles" and if you disagree with that you are Transphobic?

Got it.
  • 2 2
 @Spencermon: If someone steals from others in spite of already having a good life then you don't need to ask them why they did it.
  • 1 1
 @nickfranko: You didn't communicate what you're trying to say very well.
  • 12 3
 @dungeonbeast: That's a strawman. The reason that's a strawman is because what we're arguing with the transgender (bullshit) is the INHERENT PHYSICAL ADVANTAGE OF BEING BORN AND GROWING UP A MALE WITH REGARD TO PHYSICAL COMPETITION.
You could take two disadvantaged riders from Kansas and make one a girl and another a born a boy but calling himself a girl and take a wild guess as to who on average would have the physical advantages in racing?
  • 9 1
 @mitochris: It's very easy to define, there are clear scientific definitions. The issue is what sport decides to do with those definitions. It's not difficult but sport is making it difficult.
  • 11 18
flag paulmurphy1989 (Jul 2, 2022 at 2:04) (Below Threshold)
 @Mntneer:. "I provided an evidence based and accepted range of a known and measured physical advantage that men have over women."
You didn't though you just said men's hearts and lungs are bigger.
This issue comes down to more than just the size of hearts/lungs, it is about at which point (if any point) in a transition that natural advantages are negated - this is a wholistic question about overall performance.

"The UCI’s decision is based on limited criteria differentiating men and women, which is testosterone levels."
This is just not correct the UCI statement actually says " that while markers of endurance ability lower to "female level" after six to eight months, the decreases in muscle mass, strength, and power take longer."
I.e. they have evaluated the wholistic impact and and are adjusting based on the science.

There is no such thing as science fact.

You are not following the scientific method as you are just ignoring science that does not confirm your bias.

I am not telling you that you have to support the UCI decision or you can't have your own opinion. But just stop pretending you are right and using convenient scientific snippets to shout others down.
  • 2 1
 @Blerger: first time ive actually understood what the fuss was all about thanks for that
  • 4 2
 @Woody25: divide them by their testosterone levels?
  • 29 3
 @paulmurphy1989: negative. The increase in lung size is observable and repeatable, earning the distinction of scientific fact. Males develop with larger lungs in the womb and maintain them throughout their life time. The same goes for heart function. A simple search will give you plenty of peer reviewed info.

How is decreasing testosterone impacting lung size? It is not. You can’t refute this, nor can you refute that men have larger lungs than women.

Of course this follows the scientific method. We hypothesize that testosterone levels are the only variable that we need to control in order to level the playing field for a trans male to female athlete. UCI says, ok thumbs up no further testing of our hypothesis required because we are satisfied with this answer. On the other hand, you can look to a factor such as lung size which does exist and cannot be changed as a variable in this equation, so the hypothesis fails.

I’m not shouting down anything or ignoring information. Saying that a more than statistically significant increase in lung size is a “convenient scientific snippet” in a sports than require endurance is disingenuous.
  • 4 15
flag paulmurphy1989 (Jul 2, 2022 at 3:10) (Below Threshold)
 @Mntneer: size is not the only factor though.

What are the impacts transitioning have on the ability to utilise those differences is more relevant.

"I’m not shouting down anything" you literally are calling people science deniers for making decisions on the back of scientific research. That is shouting down.

Not saying you have to agree with their decision or the research they based it on, that is okay to explain you disagree with that in a rational way but just shouting science denier is not very rational.
  • 3 3
 @Blerger: in your terms, what are these definitions, because there will be exceptions to the rules, and overlaps in the definitions. I agree with you that sports need to define, what they see as a fair competitive criteria. And I guess this is what the debate is about. Unfortunately, this might upset some people, but that is life.
And as said earlier, appearance might be a definition, it not always clear at birth. This has happened on occasion, and the sex was initially incorrectly assigned, but the individual later developed completely normal according to other criteria.
  • 4 4
 Isn't competition about natural selection of the fittest? Then WTF are we doing with this? Forced dopping here and there...
  • 4 2
 @fatduke: not really the same though is it as women make up ~50% of the population but trans gender people don’t
  • 3 1
 @enduroNZ: not gonna rinse and repeat my earlier comments.
  • 14 19
flag dungeonbeast (Jul 2, 2022 at 5:06) (Below Threshold)
 @sonuvagun: I’ve done plenty of my own reading on the topic, and the advantage that people claim largely doesn’t exist after a certain period of time on hormone therapy. To date, 32 openly Transgendered athletes have competed at the NCAA level across all sports. Two of those people have won a National Championship (one as part of a team). If the physical advantages were as great as claimed those numbers should look quite different.

The strawman is a bunch of people, pretending to care about ‘fairness’ in sport to further alienate and harm and already marginalized community. It’s a great shield/deflection point for generally covering up bigotry.
  • 12 1
 @Lanebobane: I think the challenge here is around the word transition and whether it is every really possible to fully transition to a different gender than that you were born with. How for instance does a female swimmer with size 6 feet and hands compete against a transgender swimmer with size twelve feet and hands. No matter what the testosterone levels achieved the advantage is still there.
  • 7 14
flag everythingscomingupmilhouse (Jul 2, 2022 at 8:31) (Below Threshold)
 @johniep: what have you been smoking? You are familiar with a thing called context right?

Obviously everyone has "struggles" - it's pretty obvious from context that I'm referring to the struggles they face trying to compete in racing. You really think that people are publicly saying they don't identify with their assigned at birth gender, dealing with all the hate and backlash about that, then entering and competing in a race in a different gender category so they can then roll the dice and hopefully not crash or get a mechanical to then win? Sure, that's why so many people do it right? I mean women's DH is full of transwomen isn't it! Obviously the prize purses in sports like this are famously big so it must be worth it right, an easy way to make a fortune? Makes sense as DH racers are all super rich ballers yeah? I guess that's why the highest paying female sports like football and tennis are so full of people doing this as well yeah?

Saying calling someone transphobic is not putting any thought in to my argument or making an easy argument? It's not an argument if it's statement of fact though is it? I wasn't making an argument, I was saying that someone who did a transphobic thing was being transphobic, no argument needed, it's literally what the word transphobic means, that's kinda how language works! If you see something red do you not say it's red because that's not putting enough thought into your argument?

It's laughable that you're coming at me for not putting thought into an argument I wasn't having, you've clearly put loads of thought into yours haven't you? I mean, you've obviously thought critically about the situation, looked for comparisons in other areas to draw links, managed to navigate a nuanced topic?

Also what are you even taking offense at? What is your point? What are you trying to achieve? Are you just after the dopamine hit of feeling that you've put someone in their place and shown the world how clever you are? Just because you can put some words together in a line and make them counter to someone else's words it doesn't mean that you're right, they have to actually be based on something, like an understanding of what the other person actually said, context, nuance, comparison to other situations, something like that. I really hope you're young and still in school because you have got a lot to learn. One bit af advice I recommend you think about is that you should spend less effort trying to drag others down - it's far more important to be kind than it is to be right. The trans community need kindness, not righteous people telling them what they should and shouldn't be doing.

And before you come at me again with your dumb unconsidered BS let me be clear. Firstly, the point I'm making is that trans athletes are not doing it to make easy money by winning races, there is no evidence to support that, all evidence suggests it is not true,that opinion is transphobic, and as it fosters a mistrust of trans athletes in others it spreads transphobia too. Secondly, I'm not going to read your BS replies, this whole page is a sad sad reflection of our community and I'm feeling less proud to be part of it. I'm going to go ride my bike instead and try to forget this whole thing happened, I suggest you do the same.
  • 9 1
 @brianpark: regardless of height advantages, there’s a WNBA for a reason.
  • 6 0
 @Mntneer: From the point of view of Semaya it's also pretty crappy someone born gender female with natural high levels of testosterone is then having to medicate to compete. Isn't elite sport about finding and celebrating the genetic outliers. That's how sport gets pushed on. Whether its Bolt, Semaya, Thorpe - whoever, there are genetic traits (obviously along side everything else- desire, training, skill etc) that have enabled them to compete at a level high than previously seen.
  • 8 2
 @everythingscomingupmilhouse: I am sorry I upset you that was not my intention. My point was not everyone who disagrees with post puberty transgenders competing is transphobic. Maybe that was not what you were saying at all.

I never implied that transgenders compete for fame and money. I don't know why you went there,I don't believe I even implied that.

This is a complex situation and I truly don't know what the answer is. My intention was not to offend anyone. My response was maybe a little to quick and not well thought out.

I hope you have a great ride.
  • 6 2
 The easiest thing to do is: female category, and « others » category including men.
  • 14 5
 @brianpark: poor logic, so its fine to make a mockery of the efforts and careers of many female athletes, to appease the desires of an extremely small minority?
  • 11 4
 @dungeonbeast: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzg9QtQelR8

I think the research of actual scientists kind of trumps your quick wiki search.
Males are athletically superior from BIRTH no amount of hormone therapy or drugs can alter this. they can make a trans person weaker than reference males but STILL around 30% stronger than reference females.
  • 6 12
flag adamszymkowicz (Jul 2, 2022 at 10:41) (Below Threshold)
 @human-after-all: You're a moron. You think anyone in their right mind would transition simply to exploit the "ease" of competition? You do realize that you can't just up and say "I'm transitioning" and that's that. This is a complex, expensive, and intensive medical process that takes years, and can't be undone. Just f*ck off with your stupidity.
  • 4 2
 @brianpark: take away a competitive element you say.........huh. funny that....
  • 4 2
 Why controversial? It's the only logical solution, no matter how good the transition, truth is, it's never complete
  • 3 1
 @BentonFraser: Semenya has XY chromosomes and internal testes. She falls in the intersex category and was assigned female at birth because she appeared to have female sex organs. We have different categories for M/F in sport so females can be competitive.
  • 4 0
 @zamanfu: hey thanks for that clarification sorry in my ignorance I didnt realise the full details - appreciated
  • 5 3
 @adamszymkowicz: if the trans athletes you refer to have gone to the extent of being surgically altered you may have a point but most haven't and still have the frank and beans so to speak.
In 2003 trans competitors had to have had the surgery and be legally a woman to compete under IOC rules, this has since been changed to making a declaration that you identify as female and have had some pretty irrelevant hormone blockers.
  • 2 5
 @Villgaxx: Stop being afraid. It's clouding your ability to think clearly
  • 2 1
 @brianpark: Isnt the whole purpose of "identifying as" in options alternate to the scientific definition of the binary alternatives evidence that that is not the true goal, thus having "identified as" and now being identified as and placed in such a category the objection of being placed in such a category and complaining about it seems moot at best and intentionally difficult as (next) best.

If we are talking about majority in these social matters, test whether the majority feel athletes should be racing as per category as originally described on a two option binary birth certificate and or having being described as at time of transitioning into teenagehood and be done with this divisive and repetitive issue.

On this one issue and this only the science is settled.
  • 12 2
 @jacks0n0: Your only looking at what's fair for a tiny percentage while ignoring what's fair for the majority. A fair way to do it would be to allow biologically born women who have trained their ass off to compete in a even playing field. Pandering to a tiny percent of the population and screaming fair and inclusivity while not being fair or inclusive to female born athletes is a joke. Especially when you take into consideration alot of these transgender athletes competed as men before transitioning. On a professional level with careers on the line they should definitely have a separate catagory
  • 3 2
 @brianpark: well, how competitive a biological female transitioned to male would be in mens category in mtb, nfl or nba? There's a reason sports are divided in two categories,biologically males and females, other "genders" are welcome, just make a separate category so they can compete in equal terms between them and their fellow athletes. The position that there is an issue with entries is stupid, if you don't have the number of athletes you need then don't do it, why go stuff them in a place where they clearly don't belong just to satisfy whatever perception some people have about equality, rights and acceptance.
  • 4 2
 @brianpark: regardles of objecting to be placed in a different category the fact is, they actually belong to a different category, no matter what. If they aren't much then they should grow a bigger community, that's the only fair option, on the other hand I don't see to many ftm trans queuing to join the nfl.
  • 2 5
 @fatduke: "If you give them some where to race they will come"
In theory, that should be impossible after they change!!
  • 4 4
 @human-after-all: easy? Easy? I am a cis male and I am not beating a Racheal Atherton. Get a clue.
  • 6 3
 @Betacygni: EXACTLY. To put it bluntly: For male to female transitions, the choice to transition should include either staying in the open category or ceasing competitive athletics along with choosing to cut off your balls. I'll reiterate what others have already said. This is ONLY an issue with males transitioning to female. The reason there is such a heated discussion is because it not only feels unfair, but the recent history has shown it to be. To be clear, this is the only space I personally feel that transgender folks SHOULD be "othered"- in every other situation, complete inclusion should be the rule. Coe was absolutely correct in that fairness trumps inclusion when it comes to sports.
  • 2 0
 @Bigplans: I ride enduro, basically on my local races I am very far from the first ones, but faster than Isabeau… esaier doesn’t mean easy, it just means easier
  • 3 3
 @dungeonbeast: the trouble is, that still means that at least two athletes who were born female, have been denied the rewards and opportunities that they have trained hard for, by athletes that have an advantage through being born male.
  • 5 4
 This got downvoted into oblivion. For the purpose of education, can someone explain to me which part was either untrue or hurting?

1. Would not letting trans women compete in the women's category not emphasize their trans status and isn't the whole point of transitioning to be a woman like all women?
2. Haven't there been, and won't there be complains about unfair advantages when trans women win women's competitions (the whole point of this article)?
3. Don't the two points above make this a very complex topic (again, the fact these types of articles are necessary confirms the complexity of the topic)?
4.With skull fractures already happening, is it completely unfair and bigoted of me to place safety of female boxers above inclusivity and preferring a different solution for trans women boxers to competing in the women's competition?
5. With racing not having the above risk, is it unfair or bigoted of me to not have these reservations there and agreeing with Kate that trans women should be able to compete in the women's competition in a way that science confirms doesn't hold unfair advantages?

I don't see anything untrue or unfair here, so maybe people can start to actually read and comprehend things before they upvote or downvote things.

With boxing, I'm firmly in the 'let's not take the risk' category, but with racing, I'm with Kate on the 'let's follow the science'.
  • 3 2
 @dungeonbeast: If only the NCAA was the be-all and end-all of sports.
But 2 winners out of 32. That's very very good when considering how many biologically natural women compete and don't medal.
  • 4 16
flag Jshemuel (Jul 3, 2022 at 8:56) (Below Threshold)
 @human-after-all: no, you bigot, they are competing in that category because they are women.
Pink bike is really slacking on the comment moderation here.
  • 2 1
 @fatduke: you're comparing apples and oranges, and you (hopefully) know it.
  • 7 4
 @Jshemuel: Just because you say it, doesn't make it true. Also, stop trying to censor people who disagree with you just because you can't win the debate.
  • 3 11
flag Jshemuel (Jul 3, 2022 at 9:43) (Below Threshold)
 @carters75: you're comparing denying someone's humanity with denying someone's preference. Those are not the same thing. There's no debate here.
  • 2 2
 @Jshemuel: both are fruits so are comparable.
  • 1 3
 @Mac1987: yea, let's make it a buffet and pick what suits us and call it fairness and inclusivity. That makes a lot of sense
  • 4 10
flag Jshemuel (Jul 3, 2022 at 11:11) (Below Threshold)
 @fatduke: let me put it in terms you'll understand. Let's suppose there are two people who want to eat lunch. Person A wants to eat. Person B also wants to eat but won't eat if person A also gets to eat. Would you prioritize person B's desire to deprive person A over person A's desire to eat? No, you wouldn't. These two claims are not the same, and they don't have the same ethical or political weight.
  • 5 3
 @Jshemuel: yes, but allowing person A to eat at this particular table deprives person B of a fair opportunity to eat. To use your metaphor in regards to this debate, Person B doesn't want A to "not eat", they just want them stay at the table they originally sat at.
  • 2 1
 @Jshemuel: why not give them both enough food so they can both eat?
  • 4 3
 @Mntneer: HSam Hill decides hes happier being Samantha Hill and wants to continue competing , what happens next?
  • 2 0
 @adespotoskyli: not sure I'm following you. Could you elaborate?
  • 2 0
 @fatduke: you could make that argument but you would look silly doing it. Using Australia as a sample nation 3.39 million people have a physical disability (source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). That alone isn’t all that small of a number never mind global totals.
  • 6 2
 @Jshemuel: haha classic snowflake. Don't like others opinions so expecting them to be removed. ❄️
  • 2 2
 Again, getting downvoted without someone providing an explanation. Hate to say it, but you guys and gals are failing in the education and substantiation department.
  • 11 4
 @Mac1987: how much explanation do you need to get straight two things
1 you can define your self as you wish, no issue at all with that. but you can't change facts, born male you are a male no matter what you do, you can't change genes, you may altrer certain caracteristics but it’s superficial. So demanding to race against women because hormone levels is plain stupid, unethical and ufair for the rest, it's the same thing as a transable person entering paraolympics,
2. If you want to mix trans with their prefered definition of sex you have to accept anyone at any time that likes to define him/his self as such and include all genders in all sports. If you don't accept that it means that you clearly know the limitations of trans persons not to be up to the level of actually being born a specific sex. Simple, no ftm trans is a complete male and no trans mtf is a complete female, in fact they still are what they were born. So it’s useless to mix them up and unethical. Do a separate category, if they're not enough bad luck. Simple.
  • 4 1
 @Mac1987: You seem to think being downvoted is some kind of bad thing, Reality it carries no weight look on it as "some idiot on a bicycle forum"
  • 4 1
 A more controversial opinion is that really no one actually cares .
  • 3 5
 @markyp1965: There is only one winner in sports. Someone is always going to lose. Is everyone in the comments with your view out there actively advocating for equal pay between men and women’s sport? Commenting vehemently on articles highlighting the gaps in support in sports between between the sexes and trying to close it?

If not, then it’s not about ‘fairness’ for women and women’s sport, its about holding another community down.
  • 4 8
flag dungeonbeast (Jul 4, 2022 at 6:40) (Below Threshold)
 @b45her: and Lebron James is 30% stronger than me, but there are multiple sports I could beat him in tomorrow.

Single laboratory based metrics are far from the complete predictor of sport performance. If you take a big picture view of the history of Transgendered athletes, they do not ‘dominate’ like you’d have others believe. Show me one sport where a Transgendered athlete has come in and won at the highest level and then continued to do so for multiple years? Winning and continuing to win is domination and it hasn’t happened. I used the example I did because Transgendered athletes have been allowed to compete in the NCAA for 30+ years making it one of the longest time samples to demonstrate this.

I don’t care if a person’s VO2max in a lab is 95 mL/kg, until they win the Tour de France or the Boston Marathon five times straight it means nothing. And that VO2max isn’t a predictor for end performance in either of those things in spite of both being highly aerobic.
  • 6 2
 @dungeonbeast: We can’t show you a trans athlete that has continued to win for multiple years, because in the history of all mankind, trans athletes just became a thing like 10 minutes ago. Give it time.
  • 4 1
 @TheR: is there a weaker argument than, since it hasn't happened yet, why do you worry?
  • 12 1
 @dungeonbeast: what on earth are you talking about?
lia thomas- below average male swimmer, record shattering female swimmer
kate wheatherly - below average male racer, elite podiums and national titles as a female.
the new zealand weight lifter who's name i forget, terrible as a male world records as a female.
numerous teenage track athletes in the USA.
none of these people were anywhere near world class as males but magically become world class one they define themselves as female. they haven't suddenly improved they have used the genetic advantages they were born with to game the system.
the last national race i watched in the UK, rachel atherton, arguably the greatest female DH racer ever just about beat the 13-14 year old boys category, thats the gulf in speed down purely to the genetic differences between males and females.
  • 3 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: To be clear, that’s not my argument. Mine is, give it enough time and it will. Anyone with a modicum of common sense either knows this or is being disingenuous.
  • 11 0
 @b45her: Lia Thomas was not a below-average male swimmer. As a male in 2019, he was ranked sixth or eighth in the NCAA in the 1650 freestyle. He was ranked 60-something in the 500. His time in the 500 was like seven seconds faster than
Katie Ledecky’s American record, and that record is like four seconds faster than the next-closest female. He was not below average or even mediocre as a male. As a male, he was damn good. Which makes it even that much more unfair for him to be competing with women.

Look, everyone saying the best athletes like Ledecky has some sort of unfair physical advantage — there is no more unfair advantage out there than being male. Take Ledecky. Whatever physical advantage she might have over women (and I’d be curious to know what that advantage is), she would rank in the lower third of her male counterparts at Nationals, and probably the lower 25 percent of men at a major international comp. And that’s Ledecky. She is LIGHTYEARS ahead of all the women. Take a look at any other swimming event, and the best women will likely finish last or second-to-last in any other event. I coached decent high school boys in swimming who were faster than the best women in the world. They finished maybe 6th or 7th at the state high school championships.

Stop it with the nonsense. Men or fromer men competing with women is absolutely unfair.
  • 3 0
 @TheR: I was agreeing with you Smile I got it.
  • 4 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: All Good. Sorry I misunderstood.
  • 3 0
 @TheR: I took @b45her to be agreeing with what you're saying....
  • 3 0
 @TheR: i agree with you, that's the same point i was trying to make.
  • 3 0
 @b45her: Understood. I think my point was it’s even more unfair than you realize. Or maybe not. Here’s to being one of the sane ones!
  • 2 0
 @jacks0n0: this is certainly a difficult topic.
But living how YOU feel should not negatively impact the lives of other people.
"Your right to swing your fist stops at my nose."
  • 1 0
 @Dononemaccaboy: max psi in my superdeluxe!
  • 2 7
flag adamszymkowicz (Jul 6, 2022 at 7:52) (Below Threshold)
 @b45her: Yeah, ok dumbass. Let's see some data. I want official reporting (i.e, not your bigot friends, not Joe Rogan or whatever other human thumb you think is smart) that demonstrates that you have some understanding of how this works. What I'd really like is for you to undergo a few months of treatment with those "pretty irrelevant hormone blockers" and report back on how irrelevant they are. Time yourself on whatever track you want to now, then undergo treatment, and then time yourself again. Let's see what happens. You do this, and you'll achieve some level of credibility. If not, then you're still just a f*cking transphobe douchebag.
  • 2 0
 @everythingscomingupmilhouse: i have struggles. But I don't feel the need to beat up on girls so I can win. I simply choose to be a fan of racing and acknowledge that I am not that fast.
  • 5 1
 @adamszymkowicz: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzg9QtQelR8&t=219s

Here you go, her name is Dr Emma Hilton , developmental biologist. everything you need to know is covered very comprehensively.

Nothing i have said is in any way transphobic, i'm simply stating medical facts, if men want to live as women good for them just don't use it as an excuse to cheat at sports.
  • 5 1
 @adamszymkowicz: Also typical of an activist to jump straight into abuse and name calling rather than produce any relevant argument.
you sir are a clown.
  • 2 2
 @adamszymkowicz: people like you (on both sides) are the reason politics are so divisive. Grow up a bit.
  • 1 6
flag adamszymkowicz (Jul 6, 2022 at 11:17) (Below Threshold)
 @bonjurns: Dude, politely, f*ck off.
  • 1 7
flag adamszymkowicz (Jul 6, 2022 at 11:18) (Below Threshold)
 @b45her: Thanks for recognizing my activism. I'm happy to be an activist because I'm a good person. And I'm not calling you names, I'm correctly labeling you for what you are. I'll add one to the list though, I bet you're slow.
  • 5 0
 @adamszymkowicz: you are an uneducated clown
  • 2 0
 @adamszymkowicz: no thanks. Keep trying to bait people on meaningless online forums and call it "activism" though. Hahahah
  • 5 0
 @adamszymkowicz: your very demeanour indicates you don't have the intelligence to present a coherent argument, calling people slow is a bit ironic.
please indicate the transphobic elements of my argument.
  • 122 22
 Kate Weatherly's statement is very good. Balanced, considerate, and (obviously) well-informed. Would be great if fellow competitors, pundits, and the public also see these new rules as fair.
  • 126 53
 Just put in a TG category snd let ‘em have at it.
  • 43 7
 Kate has always been impressively polite and reasonable through all this. Especially considering some harsh statements made against her.
  • 4 8
flag suspended-flesh (Jul 1, 2022 at 13:29) (Below Threshold)
 Indeed, but is the typo in the transcribed statement hers or Pinkbike's?
  • 19 13
 Kate's a gem. Having met her, she really comes across as a balanced, very smart person. She's is also incredibly fast!
  • 85 74
 It is not considerate. It is not well informed. Currently, there is no medical treatment that can make competition fair.
  • 44 22
 [transphobic comment removed]
  • 27 10
 @Wincobankchef: yes, prepubescent boys exhibit many advantages. Even the structure of preborn fetuses' brains show male advantages in reaction times and 3D perception
  • 30 2
 From a Feb 2018 article. “Last Sunday Weatherly won the national women's DH championship, 13 seconds ahead of her closest competitor, Shania Rawson, but up until December last year rode in the men's categories” Certainly see how people got upset. Question can you still compete as a male for the two years while transitioning and is there also a notified stand down period?
  • 22 22
 @Wincobankchef: no one is scared of trans people. There hasn't been any phobia noticed in non contact sports.
  • 1 1
 ….
  • 1 4
 @KK11: Don’t know why they don’t do this
  • 2 3
 @KK11: You hooded menace, you!
  • 11 6
 @KK11: the best approach I’ve heard is simply renaming men’s and women’s to open and gx. If you’re assigned male at birth you play in the open division, same for assigned female at birth and gx. Anyone can play in open (hence it being open), and removing explicit men’s and wonen’s from the names can help with othering. Athletes opt into whichever category fits them best (knowing that they are not based solely on gender).
  • 17 1
 @vinay: I was at the Signal Hill, Dunedin race Nov 2020. Pretty sure all the women decided collectively to boycott the race because Kate entered. That’s tough for both Kate and all the female competitors. Will the new rules abate this situation?
  • 3 1
 @Lumenous1: valid question. two years in limbo not great for any athlete. Keen to hear a response.
  • 7 1
 @Dragonfly-: sram would sue the shit out of it no doubt
  • 23 0
 In what way are they fair? kate went from being a mid pack regional racer in the age categories, not elite, as a male to podiuming a world cup as an elite female. if kate was at the sharp end of elite racing as a man you would have a point but in reality an average at best regional racer transitioned and immediately becomes world class.
it's ridiculous to even suggest it's a level playing field.
  • 33 37
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Jul 3, 2022 at 6:41) (Below Threshold)
 Weatherly's let's statement is selfish, narcissistic, hypocritical, and inaccurate.

It's selfish, narcissistic, and hypcritical because she ONLY considers the situation from her biological male perspective, with no consideration for biological females whom the UCI is screwing over with this decision. I wonder what she would have said had Alicia asked her about the unfairness of biological females competing with males?

She mentions "existing biases that potentially unjustly ban trans women from competition."

She is essentially trying to create a false victim narrative by using a lie. Creating a separate trans category is not banning trans women, it's simply making it fair for biological women who never went through puberty as males and gained significant physical and psychological advantages.

✅This should have been titled as an opinion piece, not news. Then the fact that you have Alicia and Brian Park making comments supporting the perspective of biological males while again ignoring the perspective of biological females to me illustrates some serious ethical beaches of honest journalism.
  • 18 20
 @DoubleCrownAddict: 100% agree, brian park in particular goes really hard on the inclusivity rhetoric and flat out refuses to acknowledge any contradictory evidence no matter how strong it may be, he even banned my for 30 days a while back for contradicting his opinion.
the feels of a handful of trans folk should never ever be put before the years if not decades of training and effort ladies in any sport put in to excel at their chosen discipline.
  • 3 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: this honest journalism thing has it ever existed ?
  • 4 1
 @b45her: did you contradict him, or b45h him?
  • 9 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: I think PB presents the narration which is simply politically correct. This is for sure a complex problem but we came to the point where the small minority restricts the rights of majority. Now it's great that we are an extremely inclusive society, we are spending a lot of money so the people with disabilities can live as normal an convenient as posiible. But we need to remember that this is sport, a kind of entertainment or one of many jobs you can do, especially being a healthy person. Honestly nothing bad for society would happen if transgender people were not able to compete alongside women. There is a clear conflict here and the majority should decide in this case.
  • 1 1
 @Lumenous1: That did not happen
  • 5 8
 @mi-bike: apparently mr park regards referenced, peer reviewed literature as "transphobic".
  • 3 3
 @Dragonfly-: I like it.....open and "not guys" is about the smartest way to handle it. simple Chromosome check and we are settled.
  • 1 6
flag mi-bike (Jul 4, 2022 at 14:27) (Below Threshold)
 @b45her: I wish it was the 2019 article where you told @seb-stott that your partner holds a PhD (but it may have been one of the earlier articles on the subject?). Having a PhD myself, I must say that was pretty funny. And sad. I hope my s.o. spares me this.
  • 7 1
 WOW, did you really spend hours digging though my comment history trying to find some dirt on me. that's +100 twitter lunatic points to you sir.
  • 2 8
flag mi-bike (Jul 4, 2022 at 20:52) (Below Threshold)
 @b45her: I spent 5 minutes crtl-f-ing through 2 previous articles on the subject. Easy as. I didn't lose any time or sleep but did get a free laugh.
  • 126 43
 Hopefully, at the end of all this they'll just have their own division. Biological women should compete against biological women, biological men should compete against biological men, and everything else can have at it in their own league. Common sense will prevail...hopefully.
  • 23 70
flag HGAB (Jul 1, 2022 at 14:22) (Below Threshold)
 Way to miss the point.
  • 13 10
 @hamncheez: I'm not sure why everyone doesn't see this as blatant reality. 100% right.
  • 24 11
 100% agreed. It is common sense, but the loudest are usually perceived as the prevailing voice, when we all know what the solution is.
  • 27 45
flag mcocchio (Jul 1, 2022 at 18:09) (Below Threshold)
 Give your thought just a few moments to sink in. Really think about it. You want to put a marginalized group into their own separate category? That is not inclusive nor fair. Let alone the range of physical differences that would surely be present in your "other" category. I don't have the answer, but further exclusion and division is not the answer.
  • 12 3
 I’m not sure that there would be many trans men competing in the mens category, and that’s sort of the point that people seem to be missing. It doesn’t seem fair for women specifically to have to host trans women who may or may not have a biological advantage. Clearly there is more of a trend with trans women competing with biological women than trans men competing with biological men. Is there a biological advantage and if so is that fair to men? I hope suggesting that point of view doesn’t make me trans phobic since I whole heartedly believe in trans rights.
  • 2 1
 Fair to biological women*.
  • 19 3
 @thechunderdownunder: Exactly. We only ever have this conversation about male athletes who transition. Kind of tells you all you need to know about the "fairness" aspect.
  • 12 1
 @mcocchio: a separate category may actually encourage more trans people to compete. There is always going to be an element of doubt from female competitors having to race against trans women which will no doubt be uncomfortable for them. A separate category would put an end to that. Disabled athletes have had separate categories for decades with huge success.
  • 2 1
 I'd like to see a third alternative category where anything goes. Dudes juiced up to the gills competing at the craziest level possible haha.
  • 10 4
 @mcocchio: If these marginalized individuals didn't want to be marginalized or othered then why say anything about who they are/were? Aside from specific activities they could transition in silence and no one would care(good thing) or even know, but seems like most want,need and like the attention (same with there virtue police). A trans-female athlete should be honest with themselves when it comes to the blatant advantage they will have growing up as a male. This would be easy if they had empathy for there competition, but that's not how real men operate. We have categories in sports for a reason, by changing gender they have literally created there own categories or subcategories for that activity. Easy fix, don't be in competitive sports if you transition to a female...problem solved
  • 67 9
 Strength and power are not the only advantages in cycling, particularly for DH and to, a lesser extent, XC.

1. A male baby is born with 20-30% more neurons in the visual cortex. This is essentially a faster CPU and video card that allows males to track moving objects, assess speed, etc. faster. No advantage in swimming, but a huge advantage in sports like motor racing, combat sports, ball sports, clay target shooting, and... downhill. This advantage is never taken away with hormone blockers etc. and also is why the fastest women in the world always know some local male kid who is smaller, weaker... and faster than her. A male passenger in a car driven by a female is not pushing his accelerator foot into the firewall because he thinks he is a better driver, it's because in one glance he can assess speed, judge distance, and do the calculations for exactly how fast he needs to accelerate in order to get into the moving slot between two cars at the Give Way / Yield sign. The female driver slows down to make sure there won't be a collision, the opportunity passes, and now the male thinks the female sucks at driving. He's wrong - he just doesn't know his processing of moving objects is superior.

Differences in male/female eyesight is documented in scientific literature. Women got better colour recognition because gathering the wrong berry etc. was fatal and her genes weren't passed on (nor her family's). For millions of years women gathered and men hunted (the participation of women in hunting in such a society was rare - something like 13 out 225 societies in one study I heard a talk about IIRC). Note that women were highly valued from a food production point of view because gathering was almost 100% successful every day whereas highly-prized meat was brought back only in only one out of every four or five hunts.

2. Google images for 'male and female skulls'. Which one would you choose to protect your brain in a crash? Thicker skulls, sloping forehead to ward off glancing blows, eyebrow ridge, thicker jaw - advantages for a male that went through puberty hence why some trans women opt for facial feminization surgery. Even if both are wearing helmets, and women would take a lower force to knock her out or cause concussion. Evolution. In the hunter-gatherer society from where we all evolved, being better at killing men and being harder to be killed by men meant the 'tougher' man pass on his awesome-skull genes and the dead man did not.

And yeah, I'm generalising a bit but the basic facts are there. I've been reading about this stuff for years. This is not my field of professional study, but all this is easily found on the internet.

@alicialeggett I wanted to raise these facts as everyone only ever talks about strength and bone length and muscles and lungs and socialisation etc. No peak sporting body has looked at eyesight as far as I know, and the advantage is huge at the pointy end of the field.
  • 19 53
flag dpars63 (Jul 1, 2022 at 16:30) (Below Threshold)
 If you are going to quote “science” can you at least have the gumption to state all the relevant fact, not just the ones that align to your view point? Women have higher color acuity and can see slight variation in color far better than men. Which in low light or rainy conditions would be an advantage. In contrast men can see moving things better, but the trees they hit are stationary. Comparing this to a video card is not accurate. How many people have high end GPUs hooked up to black and white monitors where the games are color dependent? Both males and females have generic advantages over the other. This is not a one is simply superior scientific fact.

Additionally, humans have not evolved to cope with sustained speeds faster than running speed. It’s the real root cause of most bicycle and car crashes. Your statement about driving makes no sense either. Men in their prime are also the highest likelihood to get in a crash… so clearly vision superiority over the opposite sex is a very small part of what matters when moving at speed.
  • 19 5
 Good points. The male body is more robust and can thus push harder, take crashes and keep going. Grip strength is another one. Reaction time. Upper body strength. Bone density. Connective tissue strength. Aerobic capacity.
  • 13 9
 You can keep going with this forever. X swiimmer has bigger feet. Basketball player is longer then player Y. Athlete Y was born with bigger lungs..Chess player Y was born with higher iq.. ITS NOT FAIR lol...
  • 23 4
 @dpars63: Agreed - males in their prime ARE more likely to get in a crash - but not because they have less skill than women, but because they involve themselves in more risky behaviour. By your logic the fact we see far fewer women on Friday Fails means they must be (on average) better riders. Or are you going to say it's only because there are fewer women on the trail? Maybe, but it isn't 50:1 like on FF.

Yes, trees stay still, but the rider moves. That still means you need to judge speed. The advantage of colour for women is not outweighed by the advantage of motion for men. Are the women's times closer to the men's times on a cloudy day? I only use 'video card' to explain what the visual cortex does. Does everyone know what the visual cortex is?

Don't assume my point of view. I'm pretty sure you'll be wrong.
  • 6 2
 @reqq: True, but the ultimate outcome to that is men and women should compete directly against each other.
  • 9 2
 @iamamodel The eyesight and reaction time thing is interesting. There are women--I mean, I can think of five--who are competitive with pro men in professional motorcycle racing. There are no women competing directly against pro men in any bicycle discipline as far as I know. The performance effects of neurological and visual differences have gotta be pretty small in comparison with everything else.

I think some of the resistance to talking about these less obvious advantages is because they're just so ludicrously unfair--on the part of God/Darwin, I mean. Not only do I get stuck being comparatively small, slow and weak, but now you're telling me I can't SEE as well as males either? Why the **** not?! Seriously. This all really flies in the face of the progressive notion that life should be fair, can be fair, and is currently bending toward fairness.
  • 3 25
flag adamszymkowicz (Jul 2, 2022 at 10:43) (Below Threshold)
 Dude, we get it, you're a misogynistic bigot. Now kindly GTFO.
  • 8 1
 @adamszymkowicz: lmao how was any of that bigoted? I hadn't heard most of that before, it's incredibly interesting!
  • 5 6
 @ryetoast: life is not fair and never will be. Life is hard and difficult and not fair, get used to it. Sorry I had to burst your bubble, someone who cares should have let know a long time ago.
  • 6 1
 @MikeGruhler: I like how you repeated what I just said but in a c*ntier way
  • 3 4
 @ryetoast: your welcome, it's one of my superpowers. Lol Shits getting weird out there, stay safe.
  • 79 22
 I'm curious why they don't just take a democratic approach. Let the biological female athletes vote on whether they want to allow trans athletes to compete. It's THEIR sport. Stop telling women what they can and can't do.
  • 17 29
flag HGAB (Jul 1, 2022 at 14:21) (Below Threshold)
 It's not anyone's sport, and a decision like that doesn't only affect the women, biological or transgender, competing today, it affects many future generations as well. Not to mention how logistically impossible that idea is.
  • 35 9
 Better make that by secret ballot. Can you imagine what womens bike racing would like if every one of the female racers was shamed on instagram, dropped by sponsors, harassed on the street in front of their house after being doxxed on Reddit? Just for voting to race in a category of like-chromosoned people?
  • 5 2
 @hellanorcal: Absolutely. Voting should always be secret, just like in our current political voting.
  • 17 5
 @HGAB: Are you saying "women's sports doesn't belong to women"? I just want to make sure I'm understanding what you're trying to say before I call bullshit.
  • 9 32
flag HGAB (Jul 1, 2022 at 15:21) (Below Threshold)
 @mybaben: I'm saying that the sport would not be what it is without the people that watch it and enable the athletes to pursue it professionally. Also, why aren't you calling for transgender athletes to vote on whether they want their own category or if they want to compete in the category they identify with. This is the issue with how people talk about this, they fret about how it affects biological females and don't think enough about the effect on transgender women, especially considering that THE SCIENCE SHOWS TRANS WOMEN DON'T HAVE AN ADVANTAGE once they reach certain thresholds in their transitions.
  • 12 5
 @mybaben: guess like our bodies our sport also belongs to men. amen.
  • 9 8
 @HGAB: That's fine, I'm okay with trans athletes voting on whatever they want to vote on. However, I disagree with your statement about science. Caitlyn Jenner has interesting things to say about and she would know!
  • 13 8
 @rocketrosie: Yes, that is what angers me. It's a bunch of men in white lab coats telling women athletes that "it's okay for biological men to compete with you trust us...." It sucks. Let the women athletes decide!
  • 14 8
 @mybaben: So you're saying there aren't female scientists who have studied this too? Also, discrimination is never acceptable, no matter who decides it should happen.
  • 11 6
 @HGAB: Don't gaslight with the term discrimination. It's about what is FAIR to the field of competitors.
  • 6 4
 @HGAB: lol the science? anyone can find an “expert” with a phd next to their name to support their nonsense.
  • 7 9
 @mybaben: I'm not gaslighting, I'm calling it discrimination because there is no basis for it.
  • 19 2
 @HGAB: Real woman have fought and continue to fight for "there" rights and fair treatment by men. Now some man comes along and says he deserves to compete and be called a woman because that's how he "feels". That's straight up bullshit and everyone knows it.
  • 4 21
flag Jshemuel (Jul 3, 2022 at 9:45) (Below Threshold)
 Trans women are women. Period.
  • 9 3
 @Jshemuel: Unfortunate choice of terminology in this context.
  • 3 16
flag Jshemuel (Jul 3, 2022 at 11:03) (Below Threshold)
 @commental: only if you're a fool who equates menstruation with womanhood
  • 9 3
 @Jshemuel: well...ahhhhhh, hate to break it to you (and at the risk of being a fool!), it's literally the start of womanhood. Oh no! I fell into your fool trap!
  • 2 5
 Too bad there are no women racers who bother to post on Pinkbike. Just a bunch of dudes who are Women Experts.
  • 1 1
 @suspended-flesh: these days, just knowing what a woman is makes one an expert! A bar I'd imagine you would struggle to hurdle.
  • 1 1
 @Adamrideshisbike: That banal remark would carry more weight if it came from @Everidesherbike
Go ahead and say Incel - you know you want to.....
  • 1 1
 @mybaben: florida would like a word.
  • 57 15
 Make an open class and a women's class. Anyone can compete in the open class, only biologicalwomen can compete in the women's class. I don't care how many hormones you are on or for how long, if you transitioned after puberty you have a huge potential for an advantage. There is a reason you for the most part only are seeing biological men who become women being successful in competition and not the other way around. This should be common sense but that seems to be a thing of the past. Swimming got it right with their recent change.
  • 7 5
 An open/gender non-conformist class would actually not be a bad idea, I think a lot of trans athletes aren't opposed to this. But, I wouldn't go as far as to say swimming got it right, having such tight restrictions AND relegating trans athletes to a separate category is akin to essentially taking trans athletes out of the sport. We all know how "separate but equal" worked out last time: separate yes, equal no. I also oppose the age rule FINA introduced- that those who did not begin transition before 12 are ineligible to compete with the gender they identify with. I swam with Lia Thomas in high school, before her transition, and I felt sorry for her when I saw all the negativity she received for transitioning and competing in college. Texas ain't exactly the kind of place you can be transgender, certainly not at a young age. Even had she gotten through all the legal hurdles and began transitioning in middle school, it would've certainly meant social persecution.

Saying trans athletes should transition at an age as young as 12 is a null point, they practically cannot. If we ever want to get to a point where trans athletes are even comfortable transitioning in their teen years we need beacon athletes like Lia Thomas to show them they can be trans and still compete, FINA squashed that.
  • 8 2
 @ryanandrewrogers: it wasn’t to encourage transitioning before puberty as than to me is a form of child abuse as kids have no idea who they really are at than point imo , but that’s the only way I can see not having basic biology be a factor in athletic performance. Once puberty happens you gain irreversible physical changes to your body no amount of hormones can reverse.
  • 3 1
 @bmied31: Agree entirely that 12 is too young to make such dramatic choices. So why did FINA bother passing a useless rule with questionable implications while also deciding it needed yet another 6 months to decide what to do with basically every trans athlete? Seems like a class called open ought to be just that, open.
  • 3 3
 @ryanandrewrogers: agreed open class seems to be the most fair way in a tough issue. You won’t make everyone happy no matter what
  • 8 2
 @ryanandrewrogers: Definitely, any talk of transitioning or pressuring a transition sooner than puberty needs to be shut down. That’s a bridge too far.
  • 2 1
 @Baller7756: yet we have the US department of health encouraging it. It’s insane.
  • 54 11
 Open class. Run what you want. Roids encouraged.
  • 5 7
 Haha that would be sick,especially when we have artificial body part upgrades in the future. Roided up trans female with e-legs and artificial smart eyes.
  • 41 5
 This topic can be extremely difficult to discuss and the discussion often turns toxic. This article does a good job of presenting the issues in a balanced manner. There are very few trans women athletes but their impact can be huge. You just have to look at Lia Thomas and her results in college swimming and to a lesser extent Austin Killips and her results in domestic road racing. There are significant differences between men and women in sport. I'm an amateur guy in my 50's and for long off road climbs my times are very similar to the best women in the country. Finding a fair way for those who were born female to compete with women that have transitioned is no easy task. When scholarships, careers, and prize money are on the line things really need to be fair. These new rules seem like a reasonable attempt to make things more fair but I'm willing to bet that time and more research will mean more changes in the future.
  • 9 11
 I swam with Lia Thomas in high school, where she was already a dominant force in the men's field. A good few heads taller than I and an absolute distance beast I think it was merely unfortunate we were growing up in Texas, non-conformist gender identities were VERY uncommon at my high school. Lia was male-presenting at the time, it is my belief she would have had no opportunity to start transitioning without social persecution. Anyone who has ever swum competitively knows that distance swimming foremost takes a single quality: work ethic.
No doubt had she been able to transition earlier (although I cannot speak as to whether or not she wanted to) Thomas still would have developed height and talent in distance events, when I knew her she was already a distance zealot. Easily one of the hardest-working on a team that took state champs 3 out of 4 years I swam there.
Obviously, she is benefitting from a transition that has occurred later in life than many, perhaps benefitting from competing so early into her transition. At the same time I believe it is important she competes, even should her records be listed with an asterisk beside them. The recent FINA regulations, which are essentially targeted at ensuring Lia Thomas can no longer compete and are very strict on enforcing trans athletes, only serve to exacerbate the problem of athletes transitioning later in life. Those who truly feel that they do not conform to their assigned gender should be able to transition earlier in life without feeling as if this will mean giving up the sport they love, unfortunately, FINA has communicated swimming is no place for trans athletes.
  • 41 9
 You don't see a trans man (woman transitioned to man) on top of the podium with men, but you will always see a trans woman (man that transitioned to a woman) on top of the podium with women.
  • 14 4
 Exactly, this is all you need to say to point out the issues this presents to womens sports
  • 46 17
 [MISGENDERING REMOVED BY MOD]

[Before transition, Kate was] managing top 10 finishes at national level in the amateur male category (ie. a mile off an elite men's time)
The next year a newly trans female Kate Weatherly managed to WIN every single national Elite women's race and the following year podiums at WC ELITE level.
Testosterone levels while competing as a woman didn't really even come into it.
this isn't any sort of phobic post. Simply the facts.
  • 44 42
 It’s almost like I had already started my transition and had a female’s level of testosterone and oestrogen for several years prior to changing categories out of fear of dealing with bigots. A high level female athlete coming in the mens field would likely be finishing mid pack similarly to me. Differing opinions are welcome on this topic, but don’t you dare blatantly lie about me.
  • 23 1
 Wait, is it PC to completely dismiss the entirety of someone’s life history pre-transition to avoid deadnaming? What about their prior achievements and records as “the wrong person”? You don’t retroactively change your name from your achievements in life just because you legally changed your name or lost your maiden name do you?
  • 45 4
 @kateweatherly: Proof of women finishing mid-pack at the male pro level (or even semi-pro) please...
  • 8 27
flag chotim57 (Jul 1, 2022 at 18:37) (Below Threshold)
 @Torrrx: She just gave you proof. She did it.
  • 6 32
flag Intense4life (Jul 2, 2022 at 5:01) (Below Threshold)
 @kateweatherly: there is no way you wrote that comment in the body of the article. No way. Unless the edited out the country bumpkin on your behalf.
  • 9 2
 @kateweatherly: Were you ever a mid pack WC level racer? This is an honest question.

Hope you are doing well and fully recovered from past injuries.
  • 25 2
 @kateweatherly: Sorry, please don't think I'm attacking you for your life choices, I fully uphold your right to choose the life that you feel is right for you. However, regards to your comment about a female athlete coming into the men's field, the fastest qualifying woman in the 3 WCDH races so far this year wouldn't have placed in the top 100 men qualifiers. So they wouldn't have even got to the start gate for the actual race, let alone finish mid pack.
This is where the problem lies. If we're going to try to make it fair for trans athletes to compete in the women's field, how do we go about making it fair for trans athletes to compete in the men's field? Because if we can't, how can we achieve true equality?
  • 12 7
 @fewnofrwgijn: society has lost its mind. Never in the history of mankind had their been this radical shift cultural norms this fast.
  • 4 2
 @chotim57: I would invite you to look at any finishing results from any World Cup in the last five years, compare the winning female to the mid pack male time.
  • 23 14
 @commental: totally valid question. I was speaking specifically to my standings in domestic racing. It’s difficult to seperate my journey through racing from my transition as both happened in tandem.

I started racing downhill seriously in 2015 which is the same time that I started my transition. I was finishing mid pack in the mens field but this was the domestic field. So no, I likely would never have been strong/fit/fast enough to finish mid pack at a World Cup in the mens field.

I was more meaning that if you look at my times, they were comparable throughout my racing career to other girls with similar experience and time riding. If I had an unfair advantage you’d expect to see me winning races without trying. However, I regularly get beaten and when I do win it’s after hours and hours in the gym and on the bike. People love to reference the fact I won every national race the first year I came out. Half those races I was the only woman competing since several of my competitors was sick and NZ has always had a small womens field in downhill. A great example would be Jenna Hastings who currently races in the junior field, she’s beaten me several times on her home tracks.

I can’t speak to your question about making it fair for trans men to compete with cis men as this is somewhat a question about socialisation prior to competition. Most of the trans men I know never played sport before transitioning and therefore don’t following it. I do know a couple high level trans masc athletes who compete in America but they never get any attention because they aren’t considered unfair. Similarly to the fact I only get attention when I win events. I’ve been racing in the womens field for 4 years, so how come people only reference one World Cup finish and a national race from back in 2018???
  • 40 8
 @kateweatherly: just because you can't beat the best woman in the world easily doesn't mean it's fair. It means they are better bike riders despite your inherent advantages. A bit of humility might help.
  • 8 6
 @Adamrideshisbike: exactly…but can’t point things like that out without being called a bigot. At this point I’ve quit caring about that.
  • 4 7
 @bmied31: People like referring to the "social construct " that is men and women. But they fail to see they are socially constructing there own category by shaming and guilting people into silence about there opinions on the subject.
  • 24 3
 @kateweatherly: the unfair advantage is demonstrated by going from mid pack regional amateur men to Elite WC women's podium in a few years. I honestly can't believe that needs to be pointed out. It's almost like you're being purposely obtuse.
  • 9 12
 @MikeGruhler: no…biology is not a social construct. If you were born a man, you compete with the men, born a women, compete with the women. This is pretty simple.
  • 2 6
flag transportguy (Jul 4, 2022 at 6:38) (Below Threshold)
 @bmied31: So, you would be content with seeing a man like let's say Ajay Holbrook compete with your daughter/wife/any other woman in any kind of sport, since he was "born a women"? Smile This is not pretty simple.
  • 2 1
 @transportguy: Yea? Assuming my daughters were also body builders and Ajay was not taking any performance enhancing hormones etc
  • 30 4
 It's so disingenuous when trans athletes and trans supporters pretend that testosterone for any duration of their athletic career doesn't convey a career long advantage... and oddly blind given that the UCI uses the long term advantages of doping in doping cases, it's why you can't dope in the offseason, because even if you race clean the time spent "dirty" gave you an unfair opportunity to build strength that you otherwise couldn't have built. It's no different for a trans athlete moving to women's competition... there simple is no athletic equality between men and women... and this isn't unique to cycling, more men have walked on the moon (12) than women who've managed to dunk in a WNBA game (7)... high school boys are beating Florence Griffith-Joyner world record 100 meter time that she set in 1988, and she's widely presumed to have been doping at that time. Honest discussion and accepting these realities isn't a matter of inclusivity, it's a matter of fact and competitive fairness for all female athletes. This is as "right" as the UCI can get a ruling like this but, ultimately, it will always be unfair to biological female athletes until trans athletes are competing in their own class.
  • 27 1
 My heart goes out to athletes born biologically female who have dedicated their lives to a sport, to the point of being top 10 in several consecutive competitions or in the national ratings, only to have that taken away from them by someone who used to be a man who was not even relevent competively in the same sport against other men - either several hundred places behind the top rated males, or even in the thousands, but once they transgendered, were very quickly able to dominate the female category. I have read interviews of biological women who have lost their scholarships to universities in the US, since Biden introduced the new laws to include transgender athletes in female sports - this is a completely uneven playing field that has unfairly treated many aspiring femaile athletes. Why is such confusion and obfiscation being added to this conversation? The solution is very simple. Let's not pretend not to know that this is a completely different category - when you are born with an entirely different potential for strength and endurance, and require drugs to make a transition to a different gender, you will have either a distinct physical advantage or disadvantage, depending on which gender you started as. This is not a mean and insensitive comment, it is me diplomatically stating the reality, and expressing my heartfelt thoughts and emotions for female athletes who don't have a chance competing against transgender athletes.
  • 58 30
 Mark my words, this will be the end of women's sports. No one will watch if it's not competitive.
  • 9 20
flag skimgosu (Jul 1, 2022 at 14:57) (Below Threshold)
 Surprised your comment isnt already deleted
  • 26 12
 No one watches anyway, this has probably increased interest at least in pseudo-sports like ours and swimming. When was anyone previously aware of NCAA women's swimming statistics? They weren't. So sit back and enjoy as deep voiced women claim every record in the book. Back to the kitchen cis-ladies, let the marginalized group stand on top of the box, they deserve it more than you, so brave.
  • 9 2
 @skimgosu: why, if nino became a women he’d dominate the sport no matter how many hormones he’s on…it be a race for second place behind a fraud.
  • 5 4
 @bmied31: @bmied31: The governing body has declared that 24 months of artificially suppressing your hormones is all it takes to be and compete as a "woman", bigot! Most people don't realize how easy it is to manipulate your hormone profile, and it would see the UCI is in that group. If women who don't play competitive sports want to destroy women's sports, let them at it
  • 10 3
 @skimgosu: as a person with two young daughters, I don’t want others ruining it for them
  • 3 6
 all the dumb shit all the time from rock-ribbed ignoramuses.
  • 6 18
flag Villgaxx (Jul 2, 2022 at 8:25) (Below Threshold)
 @bmied31: exactly. nothing will ruin women's sports and men's sports faster than a bunch of ignorant, braying bigots and other assorted dopes and numbskulls destroying the idea of inclusion. couldn't agree more. human rights are for everyone or they're for nobody at all.
  • 9 5
 @Villgaxx: competition sports are not about inclusion, there about separating yourself from the competition by winning. If it was about inclusion we would all get a participation award and there would be no winners.
  • 9 4
 @Villgaxx: no one is blocking anyone rights. No one is stopping people from competing in their biological sex. These people made the choice to trans. That was their right to do so. That was a choice they made and they need to understand the world isn’t expected to cater to it. I wouldn’t expect to get the senior discount because I decide one day I’m really 70 years old even though every indicator of my biology says I’m in my 30s.
  • 6 3
 @MikeGruhler: Inclusion and "fairness", regardless of the cost/harm, is what you get when you have a cultural matriarchy. Damned be the 99.99% of competing women if it means the 0.01% of the field gets "fairness".
  • 1 2
 @skimgosu: nail, meet hammer.
  • 37 10
 Dear Pinkbike. Interview the female DH racers and allow them to be anonymous.
  • 30 4
 Did you even read the article before commenting… ?
  • 7 3
 Yeah, that was one of the very few articles on pinkbike where I didn't scroll to the comments first
  • 36 12
 honest question, how come trans-athletes keep their preferred gender identity and just compete with their birth sex?
  • 55 9
 I've wondered this as well. Lia thomas can be whatever sex, but just race other men, and move on. No one is saying you have to identify as a man to race men, you just have to born as one. I don't see why this is a problem from anyone. If I'm born a man, as I was, and decide to now be a woman, how does racing men change that? I offend no one, I cause no unfair advantages, and things move on. If the drugs I take to be more like a woman slow me down, or cause a negative effect on sporting performance, well that's on me, I'll accept that I did that myself and no one else needs to be concerned. How does this not seem like a fair solution for all?
  • 28 34
flag rocketrosie (Jul 1, 2022 at 14:51) (Below Threshold)
 @shorttravelmag: because you go through a transition to be who you truly are. this would mean we question the womanhood of trans women - which in fact is the problem of our society. the fact you have to identify yourself as "i was born a woman" and "i was born a man" needs to be overcome. only then will we be able to find ways of competing in sports together.
  • 34 17
 @rocketrosie: I almost typed out a response to this, but erased it. Nothing good can come from discussing this with anyone. If half the country thinks "being born a man/woman" is so horrible, mean, bigoted, etc...then we can go no further, and likely will not. The actual sex of a person being born is not something I see as debatable. So carry on.
  • 16 2
 @rocketrosie: You can identify as who you are and want to be. But for elite sport you have to use a scientific base to define categories and that needs to have a scientific, non opinion based rule.
  • 9 6
 @shorttravelmag: i wasn't shouting at you when writing this, apologies if i came across aggressive. all i know is that it's easy for us to sit on a high horse when we were lucky enough to be born with the right biological features and our orientation fits the norm. it's not as if being gay or transgender for example are recent inventions that somebody thought might be a cool idea. why would anybody want to be seen as "abnormal". people have always been like that and society has been way more open before than it is now (also also more narrow-minded). my aunt was born with female features however is in fact genetically male. This was only discovered when she was well in her twenties and you know what it is painful to see what she had to go through as society treated her like a freak. and she was/is so socialized into being a woman that she cannot change her life anymore. there are people out there every day who think they are worth nothing because they don't fit the norm. trans athletes like kate want a fair competition and are working with the official
bodies to come up with solutions. everythings changing and moving all the time and that's a good thing.
  • 4 3
 Glad there is some common sense out there. This would be the simplest and most effective solution.
  • 26 9
 @rocketrosie: a transition doesn't change your core makeup - you're born male or female - what you decide to do at a certain age is 100% your call, 100% your right and should be 100% accepted - but please don't preach that going through a transition to make you feel who you really are changes your biological makeup as a human being - at the end of the day a man who identifies as a woman, regardless of any transition/procedure that is available, will still have a physical advantage over their female opponents.
  • 6 8
 @scallywagg: what if your core makeup isn't very well defined? What about people born with both sets of genitals? Their parents decided for them what gender they were. This isn't a mean-spirited comment, just hoping you can see that there are people (some friends of mine as well) that were born ambiguous, born with both genitals, or born with genitals that don't match their other body features. It's difficult to tell them that they either have to live their entire life with the feeling that they are not living in the correct body, or they can have the body they feel more comfortable in but never get the chance to compete in sports.
  • 4 0
 I don't think trans people always know about or seriously consider the potential repercussions to their hypothetical careers as pro athletes when they begin to transition--sometimes as teenagers, as in Kate Weatherly's case. They just do what they need to do to be happy. And on the other hand, I know of high-level transmasc athletes in soccer and swimming who have chosen not to medically transition (yet) so they can keep competing with other natal females, and I'm sure there are transfemme athletes who have done the same. They're just not controversial enough to make the news--and I'd bet there are more trans athletes who have chosen this path who aren't even out as trans. (Coming out when you can't transition and can't 'pass' without it seems like a losing battle.)
  • 3 2
 @shorttravelmag: stop with this common sense and reasonable thinking
  • 2 1
 @neoides I believe it is because transgender athletes, as well as non athletes, don't want to associate with their previous identities and want to live life as their true identity. It does make sense from a competition level though.
  • 9 8
 @shorttravelmag: big up's to this. People who think they can be something they are not have to run around shouting about it because deep down they know there a fake. Humans are wasting a lot of time and resources running down the gender rabbit hole because they don't have any real problems.
  • 8 6
 @Itsaremedy: yup…it’s a free country, people can do what they want to their bodies but you can’t force others to acknowledge and go along with their choices….yes it’s a choice. I hear gender and sex aren’t the same thing and people have a problem with their gender identity. That’s fine, fill the other gender role, I’m not sure why that requires people to mutilate their bodies and inject themselves with hormones to align with the other sex.
  • 2 2
 @chrismac70: 'scientific'. lol.
  • 4 7
 @Spencermon: you have more then one friend who were born with both genitalia? Seems highly unlikely considering that less then 1% of the world is born that way, some counts as low as .02%
Reminds me of the comments from racists saying there not racist because they have a [insert minority] friends.
  • 1 2
 @ryetoast: Sounds like they have empathy and thought about how they may hurt others with there decisions around the sports they might compete in.
  • 2 0
 @MikeGruhler: I mean, in the case of the trans men, they might have also considered that there's no guarantee they'd be competitive in the men's class post-transition but they'd definitely be ineligible to compete against the women because of their testosterone levels.
  • 41 18
 clown world
  • 23 4
 Why do we never hear about women transitioning to male who have the ability to compete in elite sports? Does that exist? The whole discussion is focused on make to female transition and not the other way round
  • 18 4
 You don't see them Because they can't compete at an elite level.
  • 15 5
 @panaphonic: exactly right. And that in itself clearly ends the debate. It’s cheating for a man to become a woman and compete against women in sport. If it was equal then we would discuss women becoming men and doping with hormones to compete against men. But we don’t because that’s preposterous. Even with doping women can’t beat men. So the argument is closed without even considering the counter argument because it doesn’t exist…it’s cheating. Trans women athletes know they are cheating.
  • 2 6
flag Intense4life (Jul 3, 2022 at 1:50) (Below Threshold)
 @panaphonic: how the f*ck does that get downvoted?
  • 4 7
 How do you know that there's no trans men competing in elite sports? There's no obligation for trans people to announce their being trans to the world and a person who transitioned relatively early can be closeted and no one would know. No one (not even my riding buddies) knows I am a trans guy and I am about to compete in some local series. I am by no means fast compared to competitive athletes, but it's due to me being a talentless bastard. The point still stands though, you can't really tell as long as someone follows UCI rules and some a*shole doesn't out the trans person in question.
  • 2 3
 @transportguy: I said they can't compete at an elite level....such as I don't think any would be able to qualify for a dh wc for example. I'm not sure what an elite sport is defined as?
  • 2 4
 @panaphonic: damn me, I meant elite level of course. Yes, but how do you know there isn't a trans man in the world cup or whatever rankings at the moment? My point is there's really no way of knowing that, so saying no trans man would even qualify is not a certainty. And it's not really verifiable.
  • 7 2
 @transportguy: They're aren't any because we know that even the top women in the world wouldn't be able to qualify even if they were on performance enhancing drugs. The difference in performance between xy and xx is so huge particularly in the sport of DH racing. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I am saying we have good reasons to believe that it isn't happening right now. A really fast woman can beat a lot of the men but a really fast man will beat all the women.
  • 4 1
 @transportguy: I think you’re a phoney. Catfish. Is this Kate?
  • 2 5
 @panaphonic: A person that has a male brain, a male hormonal profile and mostly male body is not simply a woman though (or female at that point). I'd say the gap between the two categories (women and men) is reachable for a trans man far into transition or one that transitioned early (pre-puberty for example).
  • 3 2
 @Intense4life: Wish I was as fast as Kate, mate, but I'm only a mere local, weekend warrior. Contrary to popular belief trans people don't share one brain and there can be more than one trans transing in a sport, MTB in this case. Smile
  • 6 0
 @transportguy: because there is no way on earth the trans community would be able to keep it under the radar if a female to male person was at that level, it would immediately win the argument that birth sex is irrelevant in sporting performance and the activists would be screaming from the rooftops about it.
  • 2 3
 @b45her: ah yes, because every trans person is a part of a "trans community". Most of truly transsex people (not transgender, nonbinaries or whatever) treat their state as a medical condition (as it is) and once it is taken care of, they just go stealth, which means they are not out to the world and live their life as any other man or woman. This is literally the main goal of transitioning.

I've already stated it before, but I'll say it once more: if a person transitioned in their teens or earlier (socially in this case), there would be no way of finding that out without having access to sensitive data. Hell, maybe there's even more trans women on the WC circuit and we don't know that, but Kate with her being out became the unfortunate scapegoat.

I've been transitioning medically for 10+ years and have never been a part of a community and don't have a desire to be so. I actually despise the so-called trans communities and am against modern activism. I'm not ever outing myself to another trans person. Only my parents, immediate family, trans-care doctors, sexual partners and a bunch of trustworthy people from my childhood know about me. Not one "outsider" would ever find out and I have no obligation to disclose my status to anyone.
  • 4 0
 @transportguy: people born intersex are absolutely nothing to do with trans people. its an actual physical condition.
gender dysphoria is a mental state. they are nothing to do with each other.
please stop with the strawman stuff.
  • 2 1
 @b45her: I never said anything about intersex people though, they have problems on their own and it is not my place to speak for them.

A mental state, as you call it, means neurological problems. Pretty sure a brain made of neurological tissue is a physical organ and is prone to diseases, malfunctioning and conditions on its own. One of them is transsexualism/gender dysphoria, which is literally a mismatch between the body and how your brain is wired up. It being in the brain and you not seeing it doesn't mean it is not physical, since neurons are involved.

I'm also not sure what you're trying to say. Are you suggesting that gender dysphoria is a mere mental state and thus not a real medical condition, that should be treated by psychotherapy?
  • 2 0
 @transportguy: from the oxford dictionary~:

noun: gender dysphoria
the condition of feeling one's emotional and psychological identity to be at variance with one's birth sex.

Think that pretty much describes a mental condition.

A boy that wants to be a girl or vice versa. no mention of any identifiable physical "illness".
  • 2 1
 @b45her: you're citing a f oxford dictionary on the issue that's a medical condition, is treated by medical doctors has multiple scientific and medical studies about it. This discussion had been over before it even began. Cheers mate.
  • 5 0
 @transportguy: and every single one of those studies of gender dysphoria acknowledges that it is a mental condition, there is zero difference physically between a person with or without it, other than they have decided they want to be the opposite sex.
If a person wants to live life as the opposite sex all power to them but don't use it as an excuse to cheat at sports and potentially ruin the careers of others.
  • 23 6
 Very well written.

I'm in no way against trans people or any other group.

That said, 2 categories, Open for men and everyone else that wants to compete & genetically XX women.

Any other solution is just outright denial of actual biology.

These rules will be rewritten again in time, maybe 5 years with low test next time.
  • 4 3
 So simple yet effective, I am sure we will get there eventually once folks come to their senses.
  • 4 9
flag bmied31 (Jul 2, 2022 at 9:15) (Below Threshold)
 Science is real! Accept when it goes against what I believe in…
  • 37 19
 Is sandbagging a slur or hate speech?
  • 7 15
flag mi-bike (Jul 1, 2022 at 13:52) (Below Threshold)
 username checks out
  • 5 2
 It's called cheating, just like a trans female competing against real women. Buch of narcissistic a*sholes if you ask me. There just another part of the "look at me to" movement. Hopefully they get the help they need in feeling whole but this feels about the most counterproductive method for acceptance they could take. Cheaters never win right?
  • 16 2
 The argument about sex being “blurry” seems to confuse the issue at hand. Regardless of what the % of people are who have a genetic variation of their chromosomes, how many of those people are actually the ones competing at elite levels like this? I imagine the figure is very, very, very small. What we are talking about, is biological males transitioning to become female, and unfairly competing against biological females. The argument about chromosome variations is not the same thing and only confuses the discussion.
  • 4 0
 It is the same thing, though, from a regulatory standpoint. If a woman is 46XY but has typical female testosterone levels, how does it matter whether she's trans or intersex? Women with DSDs ("differences in sex development") are overrepresented in elite sport compared to the general population, so one might assume these differences--elevated testosterone, chromosomal differences etc--confer some kind of advantage. Having a women's class requires drawing some line in the sand around who "counts" as female, and some trans and DSD women are probably going to be left out in the interest of fairness to everyone else, through no real fault of their own.
  • 4 2
 @ryetoast: it's not just the introduction of testosterone during development that results in males having athletic advantages. .
If you have ever done youth coaching by about the age the kids hit 6, well before the flood of T that causes puberty, the males on average are already outperforming the females by significant margins in spite of the fact there is no size advantage yet.
XX vs. XY chromosome IS the determinant factor in the 35% or so physical advantage that males hold (on average).
  • 4 2
 @ryetoast: there is a fundamental difference between
1. someone who is born with genetic variations and
2. a biological male who decides to become a female.

Rules and regulations should exist to resolve the first with the goal to place the person in the category they most accurately represent. Like you said, that is the point of the rules.

The second scenario involves drawing some arbitrary line in the sand about what the difference between a male and a female is, allowing opportunities for biological males to compete unfairly against biological females. Yes, there are biological differences in high performance athletes, that’s probably why most of them can do what they do while the rest of us can’t. Using that as an argument for inclusion of everyone is incongruent with the spirit of competition. You can still create spaces for those who fall into the first category while ensuring biological males cannot unfairly compete against biological females.
  • 2 0
 @letsgoridebikes18: The first category aren't always "biological females" in the familiar sense, though. Should an XY intersex woman who was assigned female at birth be allowed to compete in the women's class just because she's "not trans"--even though her genetic makeup might be conferring some advantage, just as it would for an AMAB trans woman? That seems inconsistent, and sort of actively singling out trans people just on the basis of identity.

I guess the distinction is that the hypothetical intersex woman hasn't modified her hormones in any way. She might have an advantage, but it's the genetic advantage she was born with. The trans woman acquired her advantage later, through medical transition and switching classes. You could look at it as a form of doping, I guess--which is not at all to suggest that trans athletes are transitioning for the sake of competitive advantage, that talking point is ridiculous. But if the effect is a performance advantage for trans women in many sports, I can see some rationale for categorizing it that way.
  • 1 0
 @ryetoast: I didn’t say that someone with a genetic variation, who was assigned to be female, should compete as a female. I said there should be rules and regulations to determine which category they should compete in. They don’t have a choice so it seems reasonable to make a distinction based upon that.

Making a distinction between the two isn’t singling out trans people, there is a difference. Even the language we use infers that there is a difference, we say trans woman to clarify that a biological male now identifies as a female. We say woman and it’s generally understood to mean biological female, although that water is pretty muddy right now.
  • 2 0
 @ryetoast: And thank you, sincerely, for some reasonable , considerate, and thought provoking discourse.
  • 28 14
 Love it for the last 5+ years the left has bashed anyone that didn't tow the clmate change line.
You know believe the science.
Now the left wants to ignore basic biology. It's simple, go through puberty as a male and you have an advantage for the rest of your life.

Wouldn't have a standard if it wasn't a double standard.
  • 6 16
flag Rageingdh (Jul 2, 2022 at 10:25) (Below Threshold)
 I was thinking the exact same thing. But in reality, the climate changers can’t make the science say what they want it to so they just say there’s a consensus among scientists which quite literally means they can’t prove what they’re claiming.
  • 11 2
 @Rageingdh: Bottom line, if there is no advantage, then there doesn't need to be a separation of male and female sports.

Notice there isn't a single trans-male smashing male records.
  • 4 12
flag rexoos (Jul 2, 2022 at 13:56) (Below Threshold)
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: you have no way of really knowing that. There could be a trans man who never went through female puberty in the WC rankings and nobody would know. Not everyone is out and proud. Early transitioners can live totally stealth lifes.
  • 6 4
 @rexoos: Man just stop reaching.
  • 1 0
 @rexoos: that's pure fantasy, not a damn chance and you know it.
  • 17 3
 Getti ng good on a bike takes years of work and years of overcoming mental and physical challenge. If you learn to ride as a male, you learn to ride with all the mental and physical advantages of being a male in a sport that takes courage and fitness. When you're at races you see the junior women strugling down the techy gnarly sections for most of practice, and then they are nervous in their race runs too. Its a huge challenge of them to get down there and a huge achievement. The young men struggle too, but they overcome it much easier, and then hit it with confidence for the rest of the race. If a rider transistions from male to female when they are already a developed rider, they carry over with them a huge skillset learned as a male and a huge amount of confidence they gained from over coming these experiences as juniors. While the women they are competing with now as adults, never had the advantages of being a male while overcoming these obsticles which was what got them to where they are today. I argue that this is a hugely unfair advantage and no amount of hormone therapy can change that.
  • 23 6
 A man without a penis is still a man, without a penis
  • 6 30
flag Twin8 (Jul 2, 2022 at 8:49) (Below Threshold)
 Yes, and a trans woman is a woman.
  • 2 0
 @Twin8: A trans woman is a trans woman. That's why you have the label trans woman.
  • 13 0
 At my local dual slalom series, it was forever a race for 2nd place for the women's class when a very burly trans woman dominated the podium whenever she showed up to race....it was not even fair. You may think that you'll never encounter it, but when you do, you cannot help but feel subsumed by the unfairness of it all for everyone involved.
  • 2 10
flag Intense4life (Jul 3, 2022 at 1:48) (Below Threshold)
 Was her name Michelle
  • 13 2
 Transitioning from one gender to another is a choice. If an athlete is considering transitioning, they should take into consideration that if they transition, they may have to give up competing as part of that decision. Let's start taking more responsibility for our decisions, rather than expect everybody else to accommodate that decision.

Wouldn't most transgender males be excluded from competing in the male category due to exhibiting "illegal" testosterone levels? Seems obvious that transgender females should not be able to compete in the female category.
  • 12 1
 Sacrificing the fairness and integrity of female sport for the sake of inclusion. Nobody is a winner, however the female athletes who grain in day in day out to have their competition taken away from them are the real losers. Third category is the only option.
  • 12 1
 Can someone tell me if someone is born a man and transition to a woman does his/her bone structure transform to other gender or it stays the same? That would be unfair advantage I guess
  • 9 2
 The answer is no. The male and female pelvis and shoulder structure is inherently different, and on average males are much larger than females, with longer arms and legs. This is 101. Don't let people tell you boys can be girls while ignoring these facts.
  • 23 14
 Putting trans gender athletes aside for a moment, it was really interesting to see how blurred the lines are with current male/female catagories. I know several of the TdF riders and several swimmers have abnormal features which give them an advantage (above average lung size, or giant hand/feet).
Obviously we need more research into trans gender athletes, but also current male and female athletes to under the current state of play, just how blurred those lines are and help us understand what we currently mean by 'fair'. Armed with that information, it will hopefully make it easier to 'place' trans gender athletes into the current system.
  • 21 1
 I don't think those things you're talking about constitute blurred lines--neither of sex nor fairness. All elite athletes, male or female, have some degree of "abnormal features" that provide advantages in their respective sports, otherwise they would normal (meaning sub-elite) athletes. Professional basketball players are necessarily "abnormally" tall, to give the obvious example.
  • 1 0
 That's an interesting take that would seem to indicate that no matter how hard "normal people" train they'd never find a sport they are good at.

I don't think that's entirely true. I think we can find plenty of examples of folks who have abnormal lung and heart size, or who have extreme strength or stamina - but for whatever reason they aren't the best in their chosen sport because they lack some other skill.

Me personally - I'm a fairly strong guy. Got surprisingly close to some lifting records while in highschool and my track coach asked why I was doing running sports instead of Wrestling or Football. I just didn't like those sports. I still prefer riding to the gym. Unfortunately, my lung capacity is terrible, and I'm a pretty terrible rider from a fitness standpoint. Meanwhile guys who can barely snap a pencil will outride me all day long. Whatever advantage I might have in one area doesn't outweigh the huge disadvantages I have elsewhere.
  • 6 3
 There's people who are naturally gifted. And then there's people who want other people to play into their fairytale of pretending that they're naturally gifted. The latter is easy to spot.
  • 3 1
 Those are features they were born with, not chemically enhanced or surgically modfied. It’s completely apples and oranges
  • 12 3
 I don’t think trans women should compete against biological women. Since when has life been fair? I was born in the wrong body? I can’t be a high level athlete. I was born blind? I can’t be a high level athlete. That’s fine, you should be free to choose how to live without discrimination. That’s fair enough, but don’t take away the fairness from someone else.
  • 11 1
 Do people who change from female to male complain about their inability to compete? Are they allowed to take extra testosterone?
  • 10 15
flag mtb-scotland (Jul 2, 2022 at 14:01) (Below Threshold)
 you can't change from female to male. It is impossible to change sex.
  • 11 3
 @brianpark: In the same way shorter men don't whine about not having almost any option of making it to the NBA, why should transgender people complain about not being able to compete with women? Yes, it sucks that there is still not a category for them, but that does not mean they can, for the sake of "inclusion", transform women's competitions to unfair results (specially when these women's futures depend on it). This is not about not supporting transgender, it is about respecting women's competition. If I were transgender I would not compete with other women out of respect for them; my personal circumstances should not affect the lives of other.
  • 8 0
 As I don't personally know any competitive athletes, transgender or otherwise, I don't have a dog in this fight--but I do find it fascinating watching athletes and governing bodies navigate this difficult issue. Kudos to Alicia for a thorough, thoughtful article.
  • 11 4
 I came here to write a comment just to say rip comment section but pinkbike knew it was gonna be so bad they literally did it for me at the end of the article. As usual, check the first comment for the balanced opinion... Then scroll down below threshold while putting your popcorn in the microwave.
  • 11 1
 How many transgender athletes are "struggling" to be competitive in women's divisions?
  • 8 1
 Just because you didn't get caught doping in the past doesn't mean you do not benefit from it today. Your training volume significantly increases with the use of EPO. Being born a male brings the ability to train at a higher volume and more intensity than females - sort of like EPO - with which we are all familiar. Just because your testosterone has been under legal limits for 24 months doesn't negate the fact you benefitted from all those years being a male. Let's stop this foolishness.
  • 8 1
 How about a morbidly obese category? And you have to show that you’ve been morbidly obese for at least 24 months, regardless of when you transitioned to obesity.
Tests needs to be positive for hyperlipidemia, A1C of at least 7, hypertension, and positive for sleep apnea?
  • 7 0
 This is such a difficult subject. I think the heart of the problem is that for most of society, there is a possibility for equal opportunities among genders. Therefore this is what most people strive for, equal opportunities, level playing field for all. E.g. I've never heard of someone seriously suggesting their country should have separate elections for male and female politicians and have a prime minister/president of each sex. Because most people believe that gender is not a major factor that determines fitness for leading a country. Most competitions or prizes outside of sports do not distinguish either e.g. literary prizes, science prizes (Oscars are the odd one out and I don't think they have a good case). Although in most societies, men still have an advantage in many places, I think most people would agree that this is because of biases and not because men are inherently better at their jobs.

Sports however, are different. In most sports, having a male body is a huge advantage. So we created separate categories for men and women. This is the fundamental difference between sports and society I think. Some sports go even further, and divide contestants into weight classes as well as sexes. But very few sports have no sex segregation.
Then comes the issue of transgenders and persons with non-standard chromosomal arrangements. People that do not fit the categories that were created. In society, we can easily fit everybody in, even if some are unwilling to do so. We don't have to worry whether trans persons can be allowed to keep their profession or whether they are still eligible for a Nobel prize after transition. Because it doesn't formally matter what your sex or gender is.
In sports, it matters. That's where it starts to rub. We made categories and put a fence between them, so it will be nigh on impossible to keep everybody happy with who is on what side of the fence. We can make sports more like society and abolish sex segregation. That means we do not exclude anyone based on their sex or gender. Except that in practice, it will prohibit female athletes from ever having a realistic chance of a World Championship, or even a win in their local race. We can make even more categories and possibly deny even more people the right of deciding for themselves which category they belong in. I don't see a win-win here.
  • 3 3
 Men are inherently better at "there" jobs then women would be at the "mans" job. Been in construction 30yrs, every discipline...not a women in sight. They don't want to do are jobs, there women with inherently different interests and there own unique set of natural abilities. Zero bias involved except maybe the hiring process. You can want a certain job all you want but if you can't lift a 100lbs regularly and bend,stoop or reach for hrs on end then you don't get the job.
  • 7 1
 Honest question I have a few friends who are stating now that they do not conform to a male or female persona. What do you do if you are a "they" "them" and 'non-binary'. I guess you sign up for whatever category you feel closest to that day?
Note, this is a real question, it is just as real to these people as someone who is transitioning. Just ask them.
  • 2 1
 There’s no such thing as nonbinary
  • 10 1
 Wait a sec. The UCI did something useful and well thought out for once? I'm confused.
  • 9 2
 “Trans in sport is totally fair”…
Ah yeah, that’s why we see a proportionate amount of women transitioning to men and then competing at the highest levels against men… oh no wait?
  • 8 3
 Thanks for a balanced and well-written article and for taking the time to moderate what is sure to be a contentious (read: vile) comment section. I feel like the discourse on this issue has become so polarized that any discussion of biological advantage is going to be branded as transphobia and cancelled by the left and any discussion of inclusion is going to be shot down by actual transphobes on the right. If the left won't engage in the debate, the transphobes win by default, so thanks for providing a forum here.
  • 12 7
 I appreciate Pinkbike trying to help us understand this complex subject. As a male I feel like my opinion on the topic is irrelevant(make an open gender category), and that the voices that truly matter in this subject are those competing in the Women's categories.

With that said, I have one question. And I mean this in a polite tone, and will listen with an open mind...

Would people consider it to be fair if a Bruni, Minaar or Amaury decided to transition and compete in their identifying gender category?
  • 8 16
flag rocketrosie (Jul 1, 2022 at 15:06) (Below Threshold)
 @hamncheez: i would. don't forget that transition changes your body through hormone treatments and all the other medical treatment you have to endure even if one decides not to fully transition. so should one of these riders transition this won't be done within just a few months and they wouldn't be stood at the start gate being the male racer they used to be. they would of course still possess skillsets like line choice or cornering and all that kind of stuff, but they would most certainly not be male riders anymore.
  • 21 1
 @rocketrosie: Well actually, consistently trans-women move up dramatically in their placing with women compared to where they placed as men. And trans-men, aren't competitive at all, even if they were before as a woman.
For instance Lia Thomas went from a national ranking of #462 as a male, to absolutely dominating swimming and being rated #1 as a transfemale.
If hormones alone could change your sex, a trans person's relative placing would be similar after they transitioned.
  • 3 1
 @SunsPSD: thank you for this! this is a great example that trans athletes, athletes and the governing bodies will need to work together in the future to keep competition fair - just like kate is doing for example. admittedly i know nothing about swimming other than athletes being super tall and broad shouldered. and obviously if somebody is transitioning after having gone through puberty that person will keep the advantage of being taller than their competitor. so we are nowhere at a perfect point here, somebody also mentioned boxing where of course "body composition" has to be taken into consideration. the main thing though is being open to change and that will allow us to find ways how sports can be kept fair and respectful for everyone.
  • 4 2
 It's not at all complex.
  • 2 1
 @rocketrosie: testosterone blockers and estrogen do absolutely nothing to strength, reflexes, speed, or risk taking behaviour, regardless of how long a man has been on them. Trust me
  • 18 13
 "Previously, some cisgender - i.e. not transgender - female athletes"

why not just say female athletes rather than cisgender. Female is sex so it is what you are at birth (excluding non-wild type). Trans-gender woman are not female given you cannot change your sex.
  • 7 1
 Has anyone considered asking the racers? If the female or male racers have a majority vote to include trans racers, then do it. If not, then the racers decided, and we can try again next year.
  • 5 1
 Unless their comments are anonymous they're likely to remain tight lipped due to the flack they'd receive if they came out against inclusivity. Looking at the body language of female racers around trans athletes tells you a lot though.
  • 14 9
 These athletes are all rainbows in pride month until they lose their spot in the podium(and lose money) to a trans woman. If the biological women won't mind racing against trans women, why should we care. If they want to be woke and inclusive, let them. Let their sport be dominated by trans women who were biological men.
  • 4 7
 And to add, if Redbull Formation was a contest, it would attract male freeriders/dirtjumpers to identify as women and there wouldn't be any talk of how inclusive they are when the transwomen take their lunch money. They're the wokest mtb athletes because they're the medium sized fish in a very small pond.
  • 5 0
 How about this idea: no more men's category, no more women's category. Only two categories: XX (that is, XX chromosomes), and open. Anybody of any gender is welcome in open. Only individuals with XX chromosomes in the XX category.
  • 1 0
 down with this, pathetic it needs to be presented
  • 7 1
 I know how to solve this: ONE category in each sport. Everything goes - doping, biting, tickling, you name it. The person/team who wants it the most prevails and will carry the crown until next battle.
  • 6 1
 I thought this was a good article. It's not giving the answer but giving a good explanation of what the UCI has done to try and make it fairer. And I say 'fairer' not 'fair' as it is a work in progress and there is still a lot to be learnt. It's new, it's different but it's here and we need to keep an open mind to change be it in sport or elsewhere in our lives.
Agree or disagree, like it or not, this is happening and as I see it the UCI is trying to do their best to make it as fair as they can. Sure we can have our own opinions but most of what I have read in the comments has no substance at all. It is a complex thing and there is no easy solution but change starts somewhere and this is what the UCI are trying to do.
Extending the transition time to allow for muscle mass to lower sounds reasonable and even if there is some measurable difference after this time, is it a real advantage or just a number.
Kate Weatherly has not won the overall World Cup and from what I read, only one podium. Womens DH fields are small and so varied in ability levels that big winning margins are not uncommon at all. Rachel Atherton has won countless World Cup races by big margins against all the other 'top' women so it does happen and will be more common at lower level events. Margins depend on many factors and in a category where numbers are small and abilities so varied I think it's a bit narrow minded to just look at the margins.
If I was a male wanting to transition to a female to take make the most of the 'advantage' I'd have over the other women, I'd be picking a sport where I could make a hell of a lot more money.
For me, if the other females feel strongly enough about this be it for or against in any sport, it's up to them to air their thoughts/concerns with their respective governing bodies. Like anything, you can find facts for or against whatever point of view you want to put across.
Move with the times, be accepting of change. People are still people no matter whether they are male, female, straight, gay, bisexual or transgender, religious, non religious etc and deserve to be treated with respect. How would you feel if your child or family member was transgender and still wanting to compete in a sport because they love sport and them having to endure all of this .....
  • 6 0
 The question that needs to be answered, but no one has even thought to ask, is this: what is a woman? Unless this can be answered honestly, this issue will never, ever be solved to anyone's satisfaction.
  • 4 9
flag DylanH93 (Jul 3, 2022 at 19:29) (Below Threshold)
 That's an easy one. A woman is someone who identifies as a woman. /s
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: You cannot use the word you are defining in the definition
  • 2 1
 Make women female again
  • 4 0
 You only have to look at the male age group records in Track and Field Athletics for the U15/U16 categories and compare them to the elite women’s records, to see the advantage that going through male puberty offers.
Regulating testosterone levels will not reduce the physical advantages already gained.

An Open/Trans category is the only solution, if women’s sport is to remain safe and fair.
  • 4 0
 As a (retired) pro cyclist, the biggest challenge I faced to my performance was my menstrual cycle. The hormonal shifts that occur twice per month, fluctuations in performance based hormones and bodily functions truly affect performance and one major difference between male and female racers. I would like to see more scientific research around this because aside from all of the existing science (around muscle and testosterone) in the article, I don't think this should be discounted or not included in the conversations. ROAR by Dr. Stacy Sims and Selene Yeager covers these differences and I think it's a great education for women and men alike. Regardless, I am glad that the UCI are doing due diligence. This is a difficult subject.
  • 58 51
 a man is a man and a woman is a woman
  • 26 29
 Bruh ... got any more of those gems ? Any more insights that add nothing to the conversation. A conversation that's going to happen btw wether you and your 20th century world view agree with or not
  • 27 21
 @asapyohanes: i'm just speaking science. also you can't spell at all.
  • 11 9
 @asapyohanes: 19th* century
  • 20 5
 @mi-bike: yep, you're right. in the 1800s scientists made the breakthough discovery that men could get pregnant.
  • 4 2
 this
  • 2 1
 That would make life easy. We live in the real world where that isn't quite the case.
  • 4 4
 @oldfaith: lol, would make too much sense
  • 13 11
 @ctburton: the article did a pretty good job of covering the instances in which "a man is a man and a woman is a woman" has a few issues in how it is defined. I know people that have chromosomes that don't line up with the body parts that they were born with. I also know people that were born with two sets of genitals. Their parents decided what gender they would be and they had surgery to remove a set at birth. It's not as clear cut as you make it out to be.
  • 15 11
 @Spencermon: its medically unsound and unsafe to deny 2 separate genders.
  • 4 4
 @ctburton: The fact that english isn't my first language doesn't invalidate my argument. Even if trans athletes aren't women as you implied, wouldn't it make sense to set rules on how and where they can compete ?
  • 9 12
 @asapyohanes: i never disagreed with that. however i do have a problem with trans woman competing unfairly against real women. I just made a basic statement on biological sexes, and of course get to see ppl lose their minds.
  • 8 8
 @asapyohanes: also, you didn't make an argument. you got bent out of shape over a basic biologically correct statement. sounds like you're woke bro.
  • 7 8
 @asapyohanes: Mate, you're fine. In the 5 short posts in this thread, @ctburton has, by my count, already made 10 mistakes. @ctburton is no English teacher.
  • 5 0
 @ctburton: sorry, I'm not sure what you mean "to deny 2 separate genders". I know online discourse isn't the best communication tool, but I'd like to understand what you mean.
  • 14 12
 @mi-bike: says the guy who thinks men can get pregnant
  • 6 8
 @ctburton: I think you know that that statement wasn't made in good faith. You're not interested in having an actual conversation on the things that matter. Like the fact that trans athletes are real and need a solution for their future. You're just made a provocative statement that is easy to make. Whilst being factually wrong (see other comments about people with xyy chromosomes) it is also besides the point. Like it or not, trans athletes are real and since you enjoy female competition so much, as I'm sure you do, isn't it in your best interest that there are rules in place to protect all parties involved ?
  • 5 9
flag mi-bike (Jul 1, 2022 at 13:15) (Below Threshold)
 @ctburton: 10 more errors in the last 3 comments, lol.
  • 11 8
 @Spencermon: i don't think anyone is saying that these "trans" athletes were born with some kind of intersex condition. as you said, a parent would have to choose. So they would become one or the other. This kind of example is pretty irrelevant to the conversation at hand. The only reason there are rules that keep tightening is because of the obvious advantage of a biological man trying to compete in women's sports. Which is EXTREMELY anti-feminist.
  • 11 5
 @asapyohanes: i doubt that statement was made in good faith. however biological males should not be competing in womans sports. if you think giving them their own category is the answer thats fine. but they are biologically one or the other.
  • 9 5
 @mi-bike: no one cares what you're saying.
  • 15 3
 @asapyohanes: we (society) spends too much time trying to figure out how to cater to the .05% of the population. Its unproductive
  • 8 1
 @ctburton: biological males have their own category - its called "Men"
  • 4 4
 @ctburton: I think it is entirely relevant. My friend who I referenced was raised male but has transitioned to female because that's what they felt like their entire life. Can they compete in women's sports? What category do they race in? This affects them very directly.
  • 5 6
 @meathooker: on the other hand, if you're one of the .05% society gives you the middle finger your whole life. Doesn't sound very fair.
  • 3 11
flag asapyohanes (Jul 1, 2022 at 13:37) (Below Threshold)
 @ctburton: dude you have like one line ... try being less original for a change lol. Also you can't spell your own native language lmao
  • 12 4
 @Spencermon: did they go through male puberty? what are their chromosomes? Science isn't about feelings unfortunately.
  • 2 8
flag ctburton (Jul 1, 2022 at 13:42) (Below Threshold)
 @asapyohanes: you clearly need to continue to practice English.
  • 7 10
 @ctburton: you are correct sir.. there are scientifically 2 genders. Sometimes hermaphrodite happens with both sexes at birth. All these other genders are people choosing to be something different than what they are assigned at birth.
  • 3 0
 NVM. Deleting before I sucked into this cesspit.
  • 3 4
 @ctburton: I have chosen not to pry into their personal life, so I don't know their chromosomes. They didn't even know their birth history till their 20's. seems unfair to penalize them and disallow them from trying to compete in any races for something they couldn't change.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: also was a good heads up on the Japanese whiskey a while back. I really like the kikori woodsman and will try the kaiyo next
  • 3 1
 @brianpark: Brian unfortunately drank the koolaid I see.

FYI no amount of testosterone blockers and estrogen can effect strength, reflexes, speed, endurance or risk taking behaviour, regardless of how long. Surgery needs to be a minimum requirement
  • 2 2
 @brianpark: sex and gender are the same thing
  • 1 0
 @Spencermon: there's nothing keeping them from competing with Men.
  • 1 1
 @MikeGruhler: you're a little late to this conversation, but I'd bet if you asked any of the transgender athletes involved in this rule adjustment, they would prefer to race against the people that they relate to most.
  • 2 0
 @Spencermon: late to what? Did you get this all figured out? SMH I bet real women would prefer to compete against real women, at least in sports where people can earn a living or gain scholarships or be injured by the competitors. Let's remember we made it to this point because some man wanted to piss in a women's bathroom, literally. Now we have men competing in women's sports. Thats F'ing ridiculous and everyone nows it. Almost everyone in this conversation is hiding behind fake screen names and fake national flags...ask yourself why? That's more relevant than anything else. Bunch of people scared to be honest.
  • 1 0
 @MikeGruhler: I only meant that the last comment was a week ago. I just try to stand up for my friends is all. I know several trans athletes and I would love them to have some support. I've talked and listened to them. Whats sad is that when I stand up for my friends, all I get is hate and backlash. Nobody wants to feel like they don't belong in their body. Nobody wants to have their gender arbitrarily chosen for them at birth when both sets of genitals present themselves. Nobody wants to be treated as poorly as they are. Why shouldn't I stand up for someone who is part of a group that has a drastically higher suicide rate than the general population? a group that has a higher likelihood of dying younger? If there was any other way to continue their lives, I'm sure they would do that. Why do I feel the need to respond? I just care about my friends. I've lost friends to suicide. It's not easy. It's not pretty. If I can help, I will. I don't really know if you want to have a real honest conversation, I'd be willing to get on an actual call sometime. I'd just like to understand why you stand on your side of this conversation. I've said what I'm going to say (several times now). I'm not scared and I'm not hiding. Hit up my DMs if you want to talk.
  • 9 3
 Anyone want to give me a dumbed down summary. UCI updates are long and hard.
  • 16 0
 They changed their rules, making them more stringent as a result of recent scientific studies but not necessarily a fundamental change.
  • 14 9
 This is about as reasonable a policy as can be created if you're going to allow mixed competition... not often I get to say this but, kudos to the UCI for getting it right.
  • 7 2
 Let's review the downhill times between the men and women and the intervals.. there is a clear distinction between one another
  • 9 2
 Feel so bad for females. Never ending fight
  • 8 2
 Give all trans medals at the beginning of the season and let the rest compete like they used to do.
  • 8 3
 The mtf trans people trying to sneak and to female category is the equivalent of tranable people entering paraolympics, why accept this circus, is beyond me.
  • 22 17
 "'But he isn't wearing anything at all,' said a small child."

The Emperor's New Clothes, Hans Christian Andersen
  • 6 2
 I feel bad for humans at this point …..we are so coming to the end this whole science experiment. bye bye enjoy the 10,000 years of existence. ✌️ Peace out!
  • 8 3
 Facepalm Go live the life of stereotypes you're embracing, but please do it outside of sports.
  • 2 2
 2 steps ahead of the discussion, I'll have to remember this one
  • 3 1
 Damn, this is a hard subject, I feel sorry for sports governing bodies having to resolve this. Life can be tough though and unfair, we cannot get everything we want or please everyone, that is why I think they should keep it simple. Born with male DNA, you should only be able to compete in the male category. The only other way around this is have a separate category, but even that ends up being complicated. I was trying to think of what I would think if I was trans, what I would feel. I would feel excluded for sure, but I just cannot think of a way around this issues that pleases all party's. Life is complicated.
  • 18 15
 Jesus. Anyone with a brain or a few hours of life experiences can tell you that being born a man gives you persistent advantages for athletics that taking a few hormone pills doesn’t negate. ‍♂️‍♂️
  • 10 4
 No kidding. Anyone who says this is complex is being obtuse.
  • 7 5
 The trans issue generally, but especially when it comes to sports, gives me flashbacks to a short-lived relationship I had when I was young. Super attractive girl, but I quickly realized she had serious - like truly serious - obsessive compulsive disorder. What I found was that she, and many like her (i.e., people struggling with something (usually mental health related)), had developed a coping mechanism where other peoples' well-intended feelings of compassion, empathy, and sympathy are exploited by those suffering so that they can essentially deflect and avoid their own personal demons. So rather than her having to deal with her OCD, she developed a sense of victimhood and/or being wronged if everyone else in her life didn't cede to her OCD world. Only those who did (effectively enablers) were kept around.

It truly is fascinating, in a train wreck kind of way, to see this same concept played out on a much larger scale. The scale of otherwise educated, smart, civilized individuals, feeling compelled, out of a warped sense of empathy, to outright deny undeniable biological reality is truly staggering to witness. I'm not ordinarily inclined to dramatics, but it really does feel like we're crossing a threshold here from which we can't turn back. Is this a rejection of the enlightenment and the ushering in of a new, subjective-reality, "postmodern" era? God help us if so.
  • 2 0
 You know what this article is missing? Like, REALLY missing? A female athlete's comment on the issue.

I'd really like to hear what some of the girls of the Women's Elite DH-class have to say about this. Like what are we even doing here trying to discuss things that don't even affect us. How can we even say what's fair and what isn't. Maybe next time ask the ladies of Women's Elite DH for a comment.
  • 2 0
 Unfortunately, it's very difficult for female athletes to be honest about their feelings on this topic. The consequences, especially if against the trans industrial complex, can be severe. So, as with many issues face by women historically, women are often compelled to remain silent and quietly suffer.
  • 45 44
 Whoever can make it to the finish line without stopping to preach pronouns to somebody that called a spade a spade will undoubtedly win the race. Do what makes you happy, but stop demanding the rest of the world around you to deny scientific facts
  • 28 10
 According to the article the latest change in policy is as a result of scientific studies.

Given science is empirical, "scientific facts" continue to evolve.

So I assume you are now supportive of this change given it is based on scientific facts?
  • 12 16
flag cletut (Jul 1, 2022 at 15:06) (Below Threshold)
 @paulmurphy1989:
so what your saying is science is a load of balony, and we can just change it to suit the narrative, and keep everyone happy, when do we get the young shredder, winning the gold medal in the masters race, because he identifies as 50 years old, once you open the flood gates anything is possible.
  • 13 9
 @paulmurphy1989: Surely I could be more competitive outside of my own proper age/gender group. I will now be identifying as a 10 year old girl on race day. A gold medal is a gold medal, right?

Sadly, the honest truth is I still wouldn't podium competing against 10 year old girls
  • 2 0
 @cletut: that is not what I said.
I didn't actually indicate any personal opinion.
I was just highlighting that the other user said he believed in science fact and asked that given the changes are the result of scientific studies does that mean he supports them.
  • 5 1
 @sdaly: so what you are saying is you have an opinion that is not based on scientific research, instead it is based on your assumptions and observations?

That is fine, you are entitled to an opinion and entitled to base it on whatever you want.

But if you choose to ignore scientific research then don't claim your opinion is right because science fact.

At one point science fact was the earth is flat (to some, possibly you it still is ) but as further studies were done our understanding evolved and we followed the science.
  • 2 3
 @paulmurphy1989: Fair enough. I suppose all science is just somebody's opinion that can change or evolve over time. We all believe different things. Agreeing to disagree will have to just be good enough for some people
  • 2 1
 One thing to consider is the scientific and medical community is still grappling with this topic at large, and at this point in time it’s probably premature to make any definitive argument in either direction. Taking a “we’ll adjust, assess, repeat” approach (similar to what the UCI is doing) makes a lot of sense because the data is simply not available yet, to my understanding. That said, if anyone has any consensus guidance papers or even more general publications on the effects of transition as it relates to physical advantages between sex that is being utilized as the current “gold standard” pub id love to read it!
  • 7 2
 no mention of trans who want to race in the men's classes.......?
  • 2 1
 Article and science out of date by a long way still talking testosterone levels, to much to unpack but in short muscle memory has a effect and the ability to recoup lost performance even with lower testosterone this can still give a male> female transgender a endurance & strength edge. That’s proven and being pushed by ex pro females across various sports at present to remove transgender from female sport and create a fair competition for all including transgender participation
  • 5 4
 Great article! This does a great job of covering the wider discussion about Transgender athletes, rather than just whether biological maker A is an advantage or not. The topic of allowing athletes who transition after puberty is interesting - how many trans teenagers live in an environment where they are comfortable enough to be themselves? I feel like society will need to make some big steps before they bring in a rule like that, or else a huge number of teens will miss out.
  • 2 1
 It’s too bad Waki isn’t here to give his opinion, but pinkbike has gone woke and we’re not allowed to speak the truth here either.

No amount of estrogen or testosterone blockers effect strength speed or reflexes:

Deadnaming or misgendering is not a slur or harassment.
  • 17 14
 Good to see that FINA got it right. Hopefully the UCI will follow their suit.
  • 4 5
 Bigwigs in FINA all wear their suits. Which one is the UCI supposed to follow?
  • 2 0
 @mi-bike: the man in his birthday suit
  • 13 13
 I mean drop your pants, dick or not? case closed. People feel like shit all day every day for a bunch of mental or physical reasons including people with a genital they feel don't belong on em. It will be harder and sad but you are an outsider, society can't adapt to everybody or there will be no limits.
  • 5 2
 This seems like a good thing, because this sport don’t need any Lia Thomas
  • 2 2
 I'd like to know if they're fully converted? Cut pee pee and added chest feeder pack? Also advantage men have over women are bone density and bigger lung capacity which no one talks about, how should get those reduced on a "fair level"?
  • 6 2
 Three categories:
Her
Him
They
Done!
  • 1 1
 There’s no such thing as nonbinary
  • 3 1
 The answer is really simple 2 classes one XX and the other XY really very simple play with what you were given. All the rest is just new age garbage.
  • 1 1
 Hormone replacement therapy (estrogen and testosterone blockers) does absolutely nothing to strength, reflexes, speed, or risk taking, regardless of how long you’ve been on them. Bottom Surgery needs be a requirement at a minimum. Identifying and taking some pills shouldn’t qualify.
  • 2 0
 IMO they need to introduce a non-gendered category at least at National, WC, and Olympic level events.
  • 3 0
 This comment section is about to go crazy
  • 5 4
 Glad to see more being done about this issue. Hopefully in the future there will be enough transgender athletes to be able to start their own category.
  • 1 1
 Maybe even their own planet
  • 2 1
 I assume this means there is a maximum estrogen level for women who have transitioned to men and wanting to compete in the men's field?
  • 3 2
 Anyone else remember when women's downhill riders couldn't get sponsors because "only boys ride MTBs so women are not worth the investment"

Ah, simpler times!
  • 5 2
 Everyone chill and go ride your bike.
  • 3 2
 Dylan Johnson did an excellent video on this subject a few months ago. I recommend it as further information on the topic. youtu.be/VgmyFXdbIT4
  • 4 4
 Came for the comments, wasn’t disappointed, no internet in reading yet another article about trying to make competition fair.

Has anyone considered the possibility that fairness is the opposite of competition?
  • 9 6
 Where’s Jordan Peterson when you need him.
  • 8 4
 over at the daily wire since he was banned from twitter for stating reality
  • 14 14
 Forecast says; it's highly likely this article's comment section is mostly going to be verbal diarrhea...with a strong chance of offence.
  • 3 3
 this is clearly a *hot* take

Hot. Get it. Your username. haha.

that being said I agree with your assesment. Big Grin
  • 21 21
 "athletes who have transitioned from male to female" - what a time to be alive eh? the impossible becomes the possible at the stroke of a keyboard
  • 11 6
 I'd love to know how they changed sex too. I didn't realise humans were like clownfish
  • 3 1
 @mtb-scotland: surgery
  • 9 2
 @mior: surgery can remove organs but that doesn't change your sex. If I lost my sexual organs in a horrific accident I would still be male.
  • 3 1
 Can TG that meet the requirements above race in both categories?
  • 8 2
 No because there is no advantage on the other side, so no one wants to cheat in that category!
  • 4 2
 This is extremely insightful and well written. Thanks!
  • 18 15
 Fruit cake shit show
  • 3 2
 Unrelated, this sounds like a decent band name or a stellar album title.
  • 2 1
 The UCI banned >3-1 aerofoil sections on TT bikes I aint going to be understanding their decisions on anything
  • 2 0
 Can anyone explain to me what a woman is?
  • 1 0
 According to Merriam-Webster 1a: an adult female human being
  • 5 8
 So many opinions from people who are in no way effected by this either way. No one is addressing the real problem or challenge. We as humans want to simply group people by shared visible characteristics, but humans are more than genitalia.

Get rid of race categories based on sex and start bucketing people by other bio-factors such as testosterone and vo2 max, etc. you want to inject testosterone, cool you’re bumped to a new category. You want to reduce your testosterone, alright you are in a different class now.

In a way boxing is close, you bulk up, you now fight people your own size. Or maybe car racing would be a good way to consider it in the sense the athletes are being compared to cars. What’s their horse power? Well that’s what class they are in. Gender becomes a non issue and anyone can excel in a given bracket.

Yes, the highest “output” athletes in todays world would still most likely be males, but that is already true. At least this way the playing field would be leveled for all humans wanting to race bikes. As a benefit top pros that are juicing could do so openly and just compete against others doing the same because it’s no longer an unfair advantage, it’s just what you do to get in to the class you want to race against.
  • 5 1
 You're focused on the red herring that is 'fairness' in sport. Removing gender based categories and classifying competitors on a range of factors that are relevant to the sport in question (weight, height, testosterone, vo2 Max, etc) would indeed make sport fairer, but that is not the point of gender categories and never has been. Gender categories exist to promote women's inclusion. Nothing else.

Sport is only ever 'fair' to the degree that everyone follows the arbritary rules of the game - whatever those rules happen to be.
  • 2 3
 @2old: did you read the article? It was about making rules and regulations to keep it fair… that’s the whole point. The debate going on is about inclusion…

The chief concern is that trans athletes have an unfair advantage. So how can we make it fair and be inclusive? In this case fairness is not a red herring. It’s the main argument the UCI is leaning in to.

What I’m suggesting is inclusive, don’t say trans athletes have to effectivly be excluded in the name of inclusion.
  • 4 4
 You mean to tell me that no biological female will try and compete in the Men’s category?
  • 2 0
 i dont think they are allowed to are they, would be interesting to see how the field panned out
  • 2 0
 www.motoamerica.com/history-made-as-yaakov-wins Looks like there are getting them in to mixed sports young
  • 4 7
 Why should someone born with male cromossome, shouldn't compete in a class dedicated to female cromossome?

This is just a political correctness policy, that oblage everyone accept something, just because it has commeted to have voice.

Above all, all PEOPLE should be respectaful to one another independent of cromossome, gendrt they think/claim they are, race, religion or anything else.
I wouldn't mind race a transgender, and wouldn't care if he/she/it/hem would be in front of me.

In recent past, trans have already won races/championships/medals.
Is this is what about competition?
Changing odes just because if he/she/it/hem wouldn't do ANYTHING in it's CROMOSOME CLASS?

I claim respect... not this BS!
  • 9 9
 I identify as world champion. Do not judge me for wearing The Jersey
  • 3 3
 Just make it trans women races trans men
  • 1 1
 There’s no such thing as transmen.
Feminists made that nightmare up.
  • 8 9
 There should be just one open category for everyone in all sports
  • 2 4
 It's called the mens division.
  • 4 3
 @Bro-LanDog: where are the women who identified as men ????
  • 4 2
 @RedBurn: idk check twitter or reddit
  • 22 25
 Is this important? I did not want to put in the time to read at all. If they are getting separated from the female racers that will be great because it's not fair.
  • 14 4
 Yet you wanted to put in the time to leave a comment? Thank you for the great example of why our society is so effed up.
  • 10 0
 dude just read the UCI's comment. It's in a box at the top of the article, and it's not hard to understand.
  • 10 11
 Dear younger generations, good luck!
  • 1 4
 Transphobe diarrhea people are really lingering in the comments here.
  • 1 1
 Pointing out reality and biological truth isn’t transphobic
Below threshold threads are hidden