Team GB’s Olympic cycling chief signs a letter calling to STOP transgender riders resembling Emily Bridges from competing in women’s events
- Sara Symington is likely one of the most senior figures concerned in British cycling
- She is a part of an alliance of 76 ladies to write to cycling’s governing physique, the UCI, criticising their present transgender coverage
- The group say the UCI ought to ‘rescind’ the rule that permits trans riders to compete towards ladies
The head of Great Britain’s Olympic cycling programme has signed a letter calling for a rule change that may cease transgender rider Emily Bridges racing in women’s events.
Sara Symington, one in all British Cycling’s most senior figures, is a part of an alliance of 76 ladies who’ve written to world governing physique, the UCI, criticising their present transgender coverage.
The group say the UCI ought to ‘rescind’ the rule that permits trans riders to compete towards ladies if they’ve lowered their testosterone to beneath 5 nanomoles per litre for 12 months as a result of it isn’t ‘honest’.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson additionally put strain on the UCI and British Cycling to change their guidelines when he mentioned: ‘I do not assume that organic males ought to be competing in feminine sporting events.’
Symington’s assist for a change of coverage is important as Bridges might quickly be eligible to trip in the British group she helps choose.
Her signature can be controversial as a result of the letter criticises British Cycling, whose personal guidelines on testosterone observe these set by the UCI. The nationwide governing physique’s chair, Frank Slevin, and chief government, Brian Facer, are copied in on the letter.
The UCI and British Cycling’s insurance policies have come underneath elevated scrutiny because it emerged that Bridges, a former nationwide junior champion as a male rider, was due to race towards Dame Laura Kenny in final week’s National Omnium Championships.
Transgender bike owner Emily Bridges might quickly be eligible to trip in the Great Britain group
Sara Symington, the head of Great Britain’s Olympic cycling programme, has signed a letter calling for a rule change that may cease transgender rider Bridges racing in women’s events
Bridges was cleared to compete by British Cycling after decreasing her testosterone to the required ranges however she was then blocked by the UCI, whose pointers permit them six weeks to convene an professional panel to review a case.
UCI president David Lappartient admitted in an interview final week that their present guidelines on testosterone have been ‘in all probability not sufficient’, but it surely stays to be seen whether or not Bridges will ultimately be deemed eligible to race after the six-week deadline.
In the letter addressed to Lappartient and different UCI chiefs, the group of girls – predominantly made up of former elite feminine cyclists – expressed their ‘deep remorse’ concerning the ‘disaster scenario’.
They wrote: ‘Recently feminine athletes in the UK have proven you that they have been keen to boycott their very own National Championships to get the UCI and British Cycling to hear their issues about equity in sport.
‘That is how significantly feminine athletes are taking this subject and we drastically respect what our sisters have been keen to sacrifice to have their voices heard. We are saddened that this could ever have been crucial.
‘We consider that rule 13.5.015 doesn’t assure feminine athletes ‘honest and significant’ competitors because the UCI has promised.
‘We consider that the rule is discriminatory in that it benefits solely organic male athletes by offering them larger alternative to compete and benefit from the rewards of sport at its highest degree.
The UCI have blocked 21-year-old Bridges (above) from driving in the elite women’s events after being cleared to compete by British cycling
‘We ask that until the UCI can present strong scientific proof that the rule ensures equity for feminine athletes, that the UCI rescind rule 13.5.015 efficient instantly and implement eligibility standards for the feminine class that’s primarily based on feminine organic traits.’
Symington was a bike owner for Great Britain on the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and was efficiency director at England Netball and UK Athletics earlier than returning to British Cycling in January as head of their Olympic and Paralympic programmes.
Other British signatories of the letter embrace Yvonne McGregor, who received a observe cycling bronze at Sydney 2000, and Mandy Bishop, the 1982 world highway race champion.
A British Cycling spokesperson mentioned: ‘We perceive that this is a crucial subject for our employees and riders, which is why we now have labored exhausting to present boards for them to overtly share their views on our coverage and transgender inclusion extra broadly.
‘These discussions are an necessary a part of our dedication to study and perceive extra about how the game sector can obtain equity in a manner that maintains the dignity and respect of all athletes.’