Lord Coe hints athletics could ban transgender women from women’s competition


World Athletics chairman Lord Coe has hinted that athletics could follow swimming in banning transgender athletes from elite women’s competition.

Swimming’s world governing body FINA has voted to bar transgender female competitors from competing in women’s races if they have gone through part of male puberty.

US college swimmer Lia Thomas had previously suggested she wanted to compete for the US Olympic team, but the new rules mean she would be banned.

Sebastian Coe has suggested Athletics could change its rules regarding transgender athletes (Mike Egerton/PA)

Coe was in Budapest over the weekend for the world swimming championships and suggested the athletics could change its rules regarding transgender athletes.

“My responsibility is to protect the integrity of women’s sport and we take that very seriously, and if that means we need to make adjustments to protocols in the future, we will,” he said.

“I have always been clear: if ever we are pushed into a corner to the point where we pass judgment on fairness or inclusion, I will always fall on the side of fairness.

“We see an international federation asserting its primacy in establishing rules, regulations and policies that are in the best interests of its sport.

“It is as it should be. We have always believed, and constantly repeated, that biology trumps gender and we will continue to review our regulations accordingly.

When asked if World Athletics would consider adopting the same policy as FINA, Coe added: “We have always said that our regulations in this area are a living document, specific to our sport and we will follow the science.

“We continue to study, research and contribute to the growing body of evidence that testosterone is a key determinant of performance and have scheduled a discussion on our DSD and transgender regulations with our board later this year.”

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