Big changes are in store for the 2024 Paris Games.
After months of contemplation and controversy, the International Olympic Committee, IOC, has finally made some decisions regarding transgender participation in the Games.
Rather than basing everything off of hormone levels, Olympic chiefs have decided that they will leave the final decision to the governing body of each sport, encouraging "category qualifiers."
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The governing bodies of each sport have a duty to make sure there are no unfair advantages for athletes competing in said sport, so they will be expected to consider ethical, social, cultural and legal context before making decisions on eligibility criteria.
In addition to having the final decision being up to the sports’ governing bodies, the new guidelines will also take mental health into account and exhaust the idea that eligibility should be primarily focused on gender identity, physical appearance and sex variations. With that, the IOC claims it will no longer pressure athletes to undergo specific treatments to meet eligibility criteria, such as surgeries or other medical procedures.
Earlier in December, Olympic chiefs decided to harp on a question that has swarmed the masses since U.S. swimmer Lia Thomas became the focal point of a bitter debate: should transgender athletes be able to compete at the Olympics, and if so, what should their eligibility be based on?
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Thirteen months ago, old guidelines claimed there should be ‘no presumption of advantage’ for trans women who plan to compete in the female category, but debates transpired from the idea that testosterone levels could give trans women an unfair advantage when competing with other women.
According to NewsNation’s Rich McHugh, though, “testosterone levels alone won’t be part of the deciding factor and they’re going to rely on a bigger set of criteria now.”
This new statement takes a holistic approach when deciding whether an athlete is eligible to participate. Now, they will look at the entire picture, rather than just one number, one hormone level, or one test result.