World Triathlon allow transgender women to compete in female category

Triathlon governing body announces that transgender women will be able to compete internationally in female pro or age-group category, but restrictions apply

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18:  Competitors dive into the water at the start of the Swim section of the Triathlon Women's Race at the St Kilda Foreshore and Beach Road during day three of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games March 18, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

World Triathlon has approved a new transgender policy that will allow transgender women to compete internationally in female pro or age-group categories.


However, the new ruling, which comes into effect in 30 days’ time, requires all transgender women to lower their testosterone levels for two years rather than one, as is the case now.

They must also wait for at least four years after transitioning if they have previously competed as a male in any sporting competition rather than one.

The decision comes almost a month after British Triathlon became the first British sport to create an ‘open’ category for transgender athletes, banning transgender females from competing in elite and age-group female events.

The move from the British governing body was then mirrored by swimming and rugby league.

What does World Triathlon’s Transgender Policy say?

World Triathlon’s policy states: “To compete in the female category in an elite or age-group triathlon competition, a transgender athlete must demonstrate that the concentration of testosterone in the athlete’s serum has been less than 2.5 nmol/L continuously for a period of at least 24 months.

“Also, at least 48 months must have elapsed since the transgender athlete has competed as a male in any sporting competition”.

World Triathlon’s policy was approved by the majority of the executive board, although notably its vice-president, Ian Howard, and president of the athletes’ committee, Tamas Toth, voted against.

World Triathlon President and IOC Member, Marisol Casado, said:

“We are a small International Federation, but one that has always had inclusion and gender balance in our DNA. The Policy that we have just approved shows that we are prioritising the fairness principle but showing inclusiveness.

“It is fully aligned with the IOC’s recommendation, and similar to what other IFs have done in the last months. We will of course monitor the situation and the evolution of this policy, and we are open to reviewing and discussing it as much as necessary over time, as this subject is still evolving and we need to be flexible.”

Top image: Adam Pretty/Getty Images