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Dorries to urge sports leaders not to let trans athletes compete against women

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The Culture Secretary is set to urge sports leaders to ban trans athletes from competing in women’s events, arguing “we can’t pretend that sex doesn’t matter”.

Nadine Dorries will make the case to the country’s sports governing bodies, which set their own guidelines on the issue, at a meeting on Tuesday.

She will make it “crystal clear” she expects them to follow the example of swimming’s world governing body Fina and bar transgender athletes who have gone through male puberty from competing in women’s events.

Fina announced the decision after an extraordinary congress in Budapest last week, adding that it would look to set up an open competition category in which athletes could compete irrespective of their sex or gender identity.

Ms Dorries revealed she would be meeting the leaders in an article for the Mail on Sunday.

She suggested Fina’s move marked “reason… returning to the world of sport”.

“When I gather our own sporting governing bodies this week, I’ll be making it crystal clear that I expect them to follow suit,” she wrote.

The Culture Secretary argued that “in the vast majority of sports, asking women and teenage girls to compete against someone who was biologically born a male is inherently unfair”.

She added: “I have the greatest compassion for anyone who finds themselves living in a body they don’t recognise. But we can’t pretend that sex doesn’t matter.

“Sex has biological consequences – that’s a scientific fact. If you’re born a male, and you go through puberty as a male, your body develops natural physical advantages over a woman’s. That makes you stronger and faster.

‘I’m setting a very clear line on this issue: Competitive women’s sport must be reserved for people born of the female sex. Not someone who was born male, took puberty blockers or has suppressed testosterone.

“But unequivocally and unarguably someone who was born female. I want all our sporting governing bodies to follow that policy.”

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