British Cycling, the governing body for cycling in the UK, announced on Friday that transgender women would be excluded from the women’s section at its competitions, a decision that was based on a new “equity-based” participation policy.
After nine months of review and consultation, the body decided that these athletes would compete in the “open category” alongside the men.
British Cycling suspended its transgender and non-binary engagement policy in April last year in order to conduct a full review of the available medical science and engage in targeted consultation with its communities.
In this context, he acknowledged the impact of the policy suspension on trans and non-binary people, as well as “the uncertainty and unease experienced during this period.”
According to British Cycling, the overarching aim of its policies has always been to promote equality, diversity and inclusion, while “prioritising fairness in competition”.
In the statement, he explained that the review was led by an internal working group that included representatives from British Cycling, Scottish Cycling and Welsh Cycling, as well as members of the British community.
British Cycling CEO John Dutton said the new policies are “the product of a rigorous nine-month review process which they know will have a very real impact on the community now and into the future.”
“I am confident that we have developed policies that protect the fairness of competition, while ensuring that all cyclists have the opportunity to participate,” he said in a statement.
On the other hand, the agency also assured that it stands by its zero-tolerance approach towards harassment, intimidation and discrimination.
It also promised to act against any violations of its code of conduct, including cases of discriminatory language or behaviour.
It also stated that it would work closely with its transgender members “to support their continued participation in events following the policy change.”