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Concerns over trans athlete competing in female weight lifting for Tokyo Olympics?


According to a report in the Daily Mail, several female weight lifters in New Zealand have been told to keep quiet after the country allowed Laurel Hubbard, a transgender athlete, to compete for the country’s female weight lifting team for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

The Daily Mail provides the details:

A female New Zealand Olympic weightlifter says women complaining about transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard competing in the Tokyo Games are being told to ‘be quiet’. 

Hubbard is on track to become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics after the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) modified qualifying requirements for the Tokyo Games on Wednesday.

But Tracey Lambrechs, who also competed for New Zealand in weightlifting, has said she believes Hubbard competing in the sport would be unfair to other women. […]

Hubbard, 43, was born male but transitioned to female in her 30s. She competed in men’s weightlifting competitions for years, setting a number of New Zealand junior records in 1998, before transitioning in 2013.

READ: Fury over decision to let transsexual enter Tokyo Olympics: New Zealand’s female weightlifters reveal they are ‘told to be quiet’ when they complain that a woman ‘will lose out’

According to the Daily Mail, the Olympics’ federation allows transgender athletes to compete provided their “testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months before their first competition.”

However, scientists argue that this does not negate the advantage that biological males receive going through puberty that includes increased muscle mass and higher bone density.

Many biological female athletes state this gives transgender athletes an unfair advantage.

Last year, World Rugby banned Trans women from competing in the sport at elite levels over safety concerns.

The Guardian reports:

Trans women will not be permitted to play elite women’s rugby for the foreseeable future because of “significant” safety concerns, World Rugby has stated after releasing new guidelines for transgender players. […]

In a document explaining its decision published on Friday, World Rugby said that “It is known that biological males (whose puberty and development is influenced by androgens/testosterone) are stronger by 25% to 50%, are 30% more powerful, 40% heavier, and about 15% faster than biological females.

The study noted that despite the reduction in testosterone, having gone through male puberty, trans athletes still maintain a “significant physical advantage.”

READ: World Rugby bans trans women from elite women’s game due to injury risks

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