New swimming transgender policy may have impact on other sports disciplines


LAUSANNE, June 23: Bans on transgender women in international swimming and rugby this week opened the door for track and field to consider following suit in what could turn into a wave of policy changes in Olympic sports.
The announcement Sunday by swimming’s governing body, FINA, was followed quickly by a show of support from World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who was in Hungary for the swimming world championships. He said FINA’s decision was in the best interest of swimming and that his own federation, which oversees track and field and other running sports, would review its policies on transgender athletes and intersex athletes at the end of the year.
Experts viewed that as a signal that World Athletics officials could use the FINA precedent to block all transgender and intersex athletes – the latter referred to by clinical terminology as having differences in sex development – from competing in women’s events.
FINA’s new policy bans all transgender women from elite competitions if they didn’t begin medical treatment to suppress testosterone production before either the onset of puberty or by age 12, whichever comes later. USA Swimming put its own policy in place earlier this year, with the idea that it would eventually follow FINA’s lead, but this week said it would need time to see how FINA’s policy affects its own.
Should track and field adopt a similar rule to FINA, Caster Semenya, an athlete with differences in sex development, still would be kept out of races at her chosen distance, 800 meters.
It could bar 200-meter silver medalist Christine Mboma of Namibia, who is an athlete with differences in sex development and expected to contend for the title at world championships in Oregon next month. Currently, World Athletics rules governing such athletes don’t apply to the 200-meter race.(AP)