British Cycling is set to ban transgender women from competing in the female category of the event, following a nine- month review and consultation.
British Trans female Cyclist, Emily Bridges falls short from competing following the new policy which qualifies only women whose gender was assigned at birth to be in the competition whereas the non-binary and trans will have the opportunity of competing in the Men’s Open category.
The 22-year old has stayed out of the competition for 14 months after she was ruled out in her first women’s event in Derby when she was set to contest five-time Olympic Champion Dame Laura Kenny. It came on the back of the Cycling World Governing Body ruling her ineligible once she was still registered as a male cyclist.
Bridges set a National Junior’s Men record over 25 miles in 2018. She began hormone therapy to reduce her testosterone level last year after she came out in 2020 as a transgender. The policy sets to take effect at the end of the year and covers British Cycling events only.
British Cycling have duly apologised for the “uncertainty and upset that many have felt” after their transgender and non-binary participation policy was suspended in April 2022 to carry out research and consultation.
in a statement by British Cycling Chief John Dutton, he said: “Research studies indicate that even with the suppression of testosterone, transgender women who transition post-puberty retain a performance advantage.”
“Our aim in creating our policies has always been to advance and promote equality, diversity and inclusion, while at the same time prioritising fairness of competition.”
“We recognise the impact the suspension of our policy has had on trans and non-binary people, and we are sorry for the uncertainty and upset that many have felt during this period.”
However Emily Bridges has ranted over the policy on her Instagram handle: “I agree that there needs to be a nuanced policy discussion and continue to conduct research, but this hasn’t happened. Research isn’t being viewed critically, or any discussion about the relevance of the data to specific sports.”
“Any discussion is inherently political… and the whole discussion is framed by the media who are driven through engagement by hate and funding from far-right ultra-capitalists.”
“I’ve given my body up to science for the last two years, and this data will be out soon. There is actual, relevant data coming soon and discussions need to be had.”
John Dutton stated emphatically that the Policy review was not discriminatory but they have created a new category to make it all inclusive.
“we have taken a view that this is absolutely about being inclusive for all.
“We’ve created a new open category that anyone has the ability to ride in and also a non-competitive policy that is absolutely inclusive and accessible.”
“We will not tolerate any form of discrimination in moving forward with this policy.And it’s really important that we support, we empathise, we are compassionate to the riders that are affected by this policy change.”
He also commented on Emily falling short of the competition. “Emily, and a number of athletes are clearly affected by this policy. But what we wanted to provide at this point in time is clarity on the direction of travel.”
“The decision that we’ve made on behalf of British Cycling is for the whole of the cycling community.”
Transgender women athletes who underwent male puberty were banned by the International athletics and swimming governing bodies from competing in international Women’s competitions.