A petition to stop transgender athletes from competing with biological women at the Olympic Games has garnered more than 21,000 signatures.
New Zealander Laurel Hubbard’s qualification for the women’s weightlifting competition at this summer’s Tokyo Games has brought scrutiny on the International Olympic Committee’s rules.
Hubbard, 43, became the first transgender athlete to be selected to represent her country at the Olympics when she was one of New Zealand’s first picks in June for the Tokyo games.
The petition said the policy allows “male-born athletes who identify as women” to take the place of women on sports teams and break women’s sporting records.
“This is unfair to women due to the incontrovertible physical advantage that transwomen have,” the petition said.
The petition argues the IOC’s policy on transgender athletes “completely ignores” any physical advantages in speed, height, stamina and strength that a “male-born athlete will have”.
The Olympic Committee released a consensus in 2015 in which it approved the eligibility of transgender women to compete in the games under certain conditions.
The policy required the athlete to demonstrate their total testosterone level in serum had been below 10 nanomoles per litre at least 12 months prior to the event.
The petition called for the policy to be “suspended immediately” as it serves a guideline for sporting codes around the world.
“Women and girls are being sacrificed by the IOC as an easy fix for transgender demands for inclusion,” the petition claimed.