There are bad times for the “Trans Law” internationally and also in Spain, where the body that governs athletics has dealt a new blow to the star law of Irene Montero. The sport has started a revisionist path with respect to transsexual athletes. The creation of a new category, the limitations to the transition age or simply their expulsion from women’s sport are already on the table of the international organizations that govern the different competitions. After swimming, or rugby, athletics announced yesterday its firm decision to exclude trans athletes in their competitions. Athletics, the international athletics federation, has agreed that transgender athletes will not be able to compete in the female category in international events. At first they considered reducing testosterone levels but they have finally chosen to close the door to transsexual athletes.
The president of the organization, Sebastian Coe, has assured that as of March 31 it will not be allowed to participate in competitions that score for the world ranking any transgender athlete who has gone through male puberty. He also added that a working group will be created to further investigate the eligibility guidelines for transgender people.. “We won’t say no forever” Coe stated.
The measure makes it difficult for a group that already had a difficult time to participate in level athletic tests. Since 2019, in the wake of the Caster Semenya caseWorld Athletics already required women to testosterone below five nanomoles per liter for a year, a measure that was twice as demanding as that established by the IOC (10 nanomoles per liter), but this was insufficient for the experts who continued to denounce the physical advantages over their female-born competitors.
Numerous scientific studies have tried to demonstrate the injustice of including trans athletes in female categories. One of the most resounding, carried out with the military, supports the decision made by World Athletics.
This research suggests that transgender womenor maintain an athletic advantage over their cisgender peers even after a year of hormone therapy. The results, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, establish that the current one-year waiting period for transitioning Olympians is inadequate. “For the Olympic level, the elite level, I would say probably two years is more realistic than one year,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Timothy Roberts, a pediatrician and director of the adolescent medicine training program at Children’s Mercy. , Kansas City Hospital (Missouri).
This thesis questions the rules approved by the IOC in 2015, which indicate that those who go from women to men can participate without problems in men’s competitions, while those who follow a reverse path must meet a series of conditions to avoid competing with advantage. These standards, mainly the one that states that the serum testosterone level (the male hormone, the one that gives strength and speed and gives men an advantage over women) must be less than 10 nanograms per liter for at least the previous 12 months to the competition in which they wish to compete, they will force women to undergo hormonal therapies.
One year was precisely the time that Lía Thomas was away from swimming to make her transition. Until 2019, he was part of the University of Pennsylvania men’s team under the name Will Thomas. Just one year after starting hormone treatment to suppress the testosterone that her body produced naturally, the National Collegiate Sports Association (NCAA) accepted his transfer to the women’s swimming team. And in November of this year, she began to compete in the women’s category, breaking all records and generating a resounding scandal worldwide. Now, this new study strengthens the arguments of those who oppose that the swimmer competes in female categories for the “advantages of her biologically male body” and agrees with the rugby, cycling or athletics federations.
After a year they maintain their advantages
The period established by the IOC is, according to this study, totally insufficient. “A year from now, trans women still have an advantage over cis women,” she said, referring to cisgender or non-transgender women.
Roberts began researching the athletic performance of transgender men and women while in the Air Force, working with co-author and physician, Lt. Col. Joshua Smalley, at a clinic that coordinated care for airmen beginning or continuing their gender transition.
Active duty service members are required to take a physical readiness test every six and 12 months. Roberts, Smalley, and another coauthor, Dr. Dale Ahrendt, they realized they had access to robust data on service members before, during, and after they started hormone replacement therapy.
The three physicians conducted a retrospective review of medical records and fitness tests on 29 transgender men and 46 transgender women from 2013 to 2018. Air Force fitness assessment includes the number of push-ups and sit-ups performed in one minute, and the time required to run 1.5 miless. They also had records on when the subjects started testosterone or estrogen, the type of hormone used, and the number of days from starting treatment until their hormone levels reached the normal adult range for a cisgender person.
More push-ups and sit-ups, two years later
During the first two years after starting hormones, the trans women in her review were able to do 10 percent more push-ups and 6 percent more sit-ups than their cisgender female counterparts. After two years, Roberts told NBC News, “they were pretty much equivalent to cisgender women.” Her race times also decreased, but two years later, trans women were still 12% faster in the 2.5K run. than their cisgender competitors.
Unsurprisingly, testosterone also affected the fitness of the transgender men: Before starting the hormones, they did fewer pushups and had slower running times than the cisgender men in the control group. However, after one year of treatment, those differences disappeared.
With abs, the trans men were comparable to cis men before treatment and, in fact, surpassed them after one year on testosterone. The longest follow-up of any participant was 2.5 years, according to Roberts. “Being in the military may not be the same as being an elite athlete, but it’s a comparable situation, where you have someone doing whatever they can to maintain or improve his skills,” she added.
The debate is still open and the IOC washes its hands. It has not established any criteria for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and leaves the protection of women’s sport in the hands of the federations. The path of revisionism seems to have no turning back.