The International Olympic Committee has issued an opinion on nondiscrimination that says testosterone levels in male athletes can be used only “in compliance with applicable privacy laws,” and those athletes never should be pressured to undergo “medically unnecessary procedures.”
Which is a roundabout way of saying those athletes who are male, but who say they are female and want to compete against physically lesser females, should be allowed to do so.
It was the Daily Caller News Foundation that reported the Sports Councils’ Equality Group issued a report just weeks ago that concluded male athletes have unfair advantages over female athletes even if they have suppressed their testosterone to affirm a female gender identity.
The SCEG report found that “transgender women are on average likely to retain physical advantage in terms of physique, stamina, and strength,” the report said.
The new statement from the IOC says, “Athletes should never be pressured by an international federation, sports organization, or any other party (either by way of the eligibility criteria or otherwise) to undergo medically unnecessary procedures or treatment to meet eligibility criteria.”
It added, “Medical information about an athlete, including testosterone levels, that is collected in the context of anti-doping or otherwise, must be handled in compliance with applicable privacy laws and should be used only for the purposes disclosed to the athlete at the time such information is collected.”
Together the guidelines clearly indicate that testosterone levels cannot be used in evaluating whether a man can be considered a woman in the context of Olympic competition, and that those men cannot be encouraged to suppress that level to meet guidelines.
The IOC said its “Framework on Fairness, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations” is intended to emphasize that “every person has the right to practice sport without discrimination and in a way that respects their health, safety, and dignity.”
It then explains the “credibility” of sport relies “on a level playing field.”
It claims its goal is the ensure competitions “where no participant has an unfair and disproportionate advantage over the rest.”
That means, the guidance notes, that “measures should be put in place with a view to making sporting environments and facilities welcoming to people of all gender identities,” and “sports organizations should work together to advance inclusion and prevent discrimination based on gender identity and/or sex variations, through training, capacity-building and campaigns that are informed by affected stakeholders.”
If there are “criteria,” the guidance demands, they must be set up “in a manner that respects the principles included in this Framework.”
Specifically, any eligibility requirements must not “systematically exclude athletes from competition based upon their gender identity, physical appearance and/or sex variations.” And it banishes any testing “because of, or aimed at determining, their sex, gender identity and/or sex variations.”
It allows “restrictions” only on the basis of “robust and peer reviewed research” that demonstrates a “disproportionate competitive advantage,” is based on data from those subject to the regulation and a demonstration that the “risk” exists for the specific event involved.
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