Former British Swimmer Sharron Davies says in order to protect women’s sport, trans women should not be able to compete.
The ex-Olympian tweeted her thoughts on the matter, 'I have nothing against anyone who wishes to be transgender. However I believe there is a fundamental difference between the binary sex you're born with and the gender you may identify as. To protect women’s sport those with a male sex advantage should not be able to compete in women’s sport.'
Davies claimed her comments were not transphobic and added many other female athletes’ felt the same way. Her views have also been supported by fellow Olympians Sally Gunnell, Nicola Adams and Dame Kelly Holmes.
Other reactions however, criticised Davies labelling her comments as “heartbreaking”.
The debate comes after 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova stated that allowing transgender women to compete in women’s sport was “cheating” because they had unfair physical advantage. She since has apologised for using the term “cheating” and claimed she was not suggesting that transgender athletes in general are cheats.
Davies continues to speak out on the issue and said it was important for governing bodies to debate the issue. “We need to come up with a unified set of rules that is clear, concise and fair.”
The debated topic was covered in Sport Resolutions Annual Conference last year. The 2018 Conference review can be seen here.
Under guidelines introduced in 2016, female-to-male athletes can compete ‘without restriction’, while male-to-female athletes must undergo hormone therapy to keep their levels of testosterone below a certain level for at least 12 months.