GB Olympic cycling captain signs letter to prevent cross-border cyclists from competing with women

GB Olympic cycling head Sara Symington has signed a letter in support of a ban on transgender athletes competing against women – this comes after Emily Bridges was denied competition over the weekend

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Alejandro Valverde flies over the fence during the La Vuelta . bike race

Head of GB Olympic Ride bicycle Sara Symington signed a letter to prevent transgender athletes from competing with women, after Emily Bridges was denied the opportunity to play last weekend.

The former GB Archery Performance Manager is one of 76 women who have written to the world’s governing body, UCI, criticizing the current policy on transgender athletes. The group believes that the rule that transgender cyclists are allowed to compete if their testosterone levels remain below 5 nanomoles per liter for 12 months, should be abolished because it is unfair.

They wrote: “Recently female athletes in the United Kingdom have shown you that they are willing to boycott their own National Championships for UCI and British Cycling to hear their concerns about the publicity of their athletes. equal in sports. That’s the way female athletes are taking this matter seriously and we have great respect for what we sisters were willing to sacrifice to have their voices heard. We are saddened that this should have been necessary. “

It continued: “We believe that rule 13.5.015 does not guarantee the ‘fair and meaningful’ competition of female athletes as promised by UCI.

“We believe this rule is discriminatory in that it only benefits biological male athletes by providing them with a greater opportunity to compete and enjoy the rewards of sport. at the highest level. We request that unless UCI can provide solid scientific evidence that the rule guarantees fairness to female athletes, that UCI repeal Rule 13.5.01 with immediate effect and implement it. The eligibility criteria for the female category are based on the biological characteristics of the female. “

Responding to the complaint letter, a British Cycling spokesperson said: “We understand this is an important issue for our staff and riders, which is why we have worked hard just to provide forums for them to openly share their views on our policies and more broadly transgender inclusion. These discussions are an important part of our commitment to learn and understand more about how the sport sector can achieve equity in a way that upholds the dignity and respect of all athletes. mobilize. ”

GB Olympic Cycling Team Leader Sara Symington signed a letter preventing transgender athletes from competing with women (Image by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Symington, who was a cyclist for Great Britain at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, backing this letter could be seen as controversial as she is criticizing the very organization she is not only work, whose own testosterone rules follow those set forth by UCI. UCI and British Cycling policies have come under scrutiny as cyclist Emily Bridges was due to race against Dame Laura Kenny in the National Omnium Championship last week.

The 21-year-old was allowed to take part in the British Cycling competition after her testosterone was reduced to necessary levels but she was later blocked by UCI, where their guidelines allowed them to convene a panel of experts to review a case in six weeks.

UCI president David Lappartient admitted in an interview last week that their current rules on testosterone ‘probably aren’t enough’, but it remains to be seen whether Bridges will ultimately qualify to run race after the six-week deadline or not.

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