The UCI has ruled that transgender cyclist Emily Bridges is ineligible to compete in the women’s British National Omnium Championship on Saturday.
Bridges previously competed as a male cyclist and set a national junior men’s record over 25 miles in 2018 before beginning hormone therapy last year in order to reduce testosterone levels but as Bridges is still registered as a male cyclist she cannot compete as a woman until her male UCI ID expires.
British Cycling said yesterday “We have now been informed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that under their current guidelines Emily is not eligible to participate in this event.” Saturday would have been Bridges’ first race in the women’s event but the UCI ruling has now delayed this. British Cycling added “We have been in close discussions with the UCI regarding Emily's participation this weekend and have also engaged closely with Emily and her family regarding her transition and involvement in elite competitions," said British Cycling. We acknowledge the decision of the UCI with regards to Emily's participation, however we fully recognise her disappointment with today's decision. Transgender and non-binary inclusion is bigger than one race and one athlete - it is a challenge for all elite sports.”
Before the UCI ruling was announced UCI president David Lappartient had said “We fully recognise the rights of people to change and to make that transition. I'm a little bit worried that [their participation in women's events] will affect the fairness of competition. I believe that maybe the situation we have now, of the rules of five nanomoles per litre [to measure testosterone levels], is probably not enough. When I speak with some professors in medicine, some specialists, they say, 'yes, your body probably has a memory already of what you are and so there is maybe some advantages'. But is there a memory from your body from what you were before - and do you have advantage for this? Is it a bridge of fair competition?”