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Lord Coe hints athletics could bar transgender women from female competition

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has hinted the sport could follow swimming in banning transgender athletes (Mike Egerton/PA)
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has hinted the sport could follow swimming in banning transgender athletes (Mike Egerton/PA)

World Athletics president Lord Coe has hinted track and field could follow swimming in banning transgender athletes from elite female competition.

FINA, swimming’s world governing body, has voted to stop transgender competitors from taking part in women’s races if they have gone through part of male puberty.

American college swimmer Lia Thomas had already suggested she wanted to compete for the US Olympic squad but the new rules mean she would be banned.

Lord Sebastian Coe
Sebastian Coe suggested athletics may change its rules regarding transgender athletes (Mike Egerton/PA)

Coe was in Budapest at the weekend for the World Swimming Championships and suggested athletics may change its rules regarding transgender athletes.

“My responsibility is to protect the integrity of women’s sport and we take that very seriously, and if it means that we have to make adjustments to protocols going forward, we will,” he said.

“I’ve always made it clear: if we ever get pushed into a corner to that point where we’re making a judgment about fairness or inclusion, I will always fall down on the side of fairness.

“We see an international federation asserting its primacy in setting rules, regulations and policies that are in the best interest of its sport.

“This is as it should be. We have always believed, and repeated constantly, that biology trumps gender and we will continue to review our regulations in line with this.”

When asked whether World Athletics would consider adopting the same policy as FINA, Coe added: “We have always said our regulations in this area are a living document, specific to our sport and we will follow the science.

“We continue to study, research and contribute to the growing body of evidence that testosterone is a key determinator in performance and have scheduled a discussion on our DSD and transgender regulations with our council at the end of the year.”

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