21 September 2019

Olympic legend Daley Thompson says transgender athletes have no place in women's sport

One of Britain's greatest ever Olympians has stepped up the debate over transgender athletes saying they have no place in women's sport because of their unfair biological advantage.

Daley Thompson, who won back-to-back decathlon gold medals in the 80's, was speaking after new research which showed that testosterone-suppressing drugs may not reduce muscle strength even as much as a year after taking them. 

Never one to hold back his opinion, the 61-year-old said: "It's depressing because it has the potential to put an end to women's sport.

"Theoretically I can identify as a lady and go and compete." he added.

Thompson was also critical of the stance taken by the International Olympic Committee in allowing transgender athletes to compete, saying: "It is a shame on a personal level, but it hasn't been addressed properly by the IOC."

He added: "A lot of people said, 'let's be as inclusive as we can', and didn't think about the unintended consequences. We are sleepwalking into a minefield."

His views echo those of fellow Olympian and former swimmer, Sharron Davies, who has previously spoken against the inclusion of transgender athletes in women's sport.

Thompson and Davies have both spoken out against the inclusion of transgender athletes (PA Images)

“I have nothing against anyone who wishes 2be transgender [sic]," she wrote on Twitter.

“However I believe there is a fundamental difference between the binary sex u r born with & the gender u may identify as.

“To protect women’s sport those with a male sex advantage should not be able 2compete in women’s sport.”

Her tweet was deemed "transphobic" by many and she was criticised widely on twitter with some even calling for her to be stripped of her MBE.

Unperturbed, Davies responded to her critics saying: "It's insane and it's cheating."

Daley did, however, praise the performance of females in the sport that he loves. Talking of the British female athletes he said: "The best people are all girls. It's amazing and it's lovely."

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox