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British Triathlon Creates New “Open” Category for Trans Athletes

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The British Triathlon has released updated rules that create a new “open” category for transgender athletes as part of a push to ban trans women from competing against cisgender women.The federation’s new policy requires that “all individuals including male, transgender and those non-binary who were male sex at birth” be placed into an “open” category, separate from people assigned female at birth.With the creation of the “open” category, only those athletes who were assigned female at birth will be allowed to participate in international events designated for females.The policy does not mention in which category a trans man assigned female at birth is expected to compete, although presumably they would be relegated to the “open” category if they are taking testosterone to transition — which might be considered an unfair advantage.

The new policy goes into on Jan. 1, 2023, and applies to all races held in the United Kingdom. In a statement, the British Triathlon explained that this policy is an attempt at making the sport more inclusive — allowing transgender females and nonbinary athletes assigned male at birth to compete, while ensuring that they do not unfairly benefit from physical advantages they hold over cisgender female competitors.“British Triathlon has reviewed its Transgender Policy following a period of consultation to ensure that it reflects the needs of our sport, protects fairness in competition, and serves our desire to make triathlon truly inclusive,” the federation said.The British Triathlon’s governing body said it they consulted with over 3,000 participants, forming focus groups and conducting interviews before deciding to establish the policy.

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