Defend Women’s Sport has launched a petition to stop transgender athletes from competing in the Olympics, despite IOC policy stating athletes who transition from male to female are eligible to compete.
A petition, launched by a self-appointed group titled Defend Women’s Sport, has amassed over 30,000 signatures since its launch. The sign up in question calls for the Olympic Committee to suspend the existing transgender policy at the games.
The Change.org petition takes an anti-trans stance in the details of its cause stating trans athletes, those that transition from male to female, have a “physical advantage”.
The Defend Women’s Sport campaign also argue the inclusion of trans athletes will also prevent certain women from participating due to religious and cultural reasons.
Following the news of Laurel Hubbard’s success to qualify in the Olympics, trans athletes are facing a growing wave of criticism, despite an approved IOC policy when allows trans athletes if they follow strict guidelines.
However, the creators of the petition remain dissatisfied with the ruling and state the IOC-approved regulation continues to “[ignore] the physical advantages in speed, height, stamina and strength that a male-born athlete will have.”
Laurel Hubbard, who is 16th in the world rankings, will be the oldest athlete in the women’s weightlifting category.
It has been officially announced the athlete has made the cut for the New Zealand team.
The Guardian reports the IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) adjusted guidelines which would mean Hubbard now qualifies.
The newly amended regulations have also be approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
IOC issued new guidelines in November 2015 which states athletes who have transitioned from male to female are eligible to compete, without the need for surgery, if their testosterone levels are low enough.
In this case, testosterone levels must be kept below 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months; a rule also followed by the International Weightlifting Federation.
The petition, which has now reached 33,000 signatures, states “women’s sport is in danger of being effectively erased” and wishes for the pro-trans policy to be revoked.
Five years after she transitioned, in 2017, Hubbard opened up about competing at an elite professional level.
“The rules that enabled me to compete first went into effect in 2003,” she explained. “They are known as the Stockholm consensus with the IOC but I think even 10 years ago the world perhaps wasn’t ready for an athlete like myself – and perhaps it is not ready now.
“But I got the sense at least that people were willing to consider me for these competitions and it seemed like the right time to put the boots on and hit the platform.’