12 February 2020

UCI halves testosterone threshold rules for transgender riders competing in women's events in a bid to 'guarantee a level playing field'

The UCI, cycling's premier governing body, has halved the testosterone threshold for transgender females competing in women's events.

Following a meeting between sporting federations in October, the UCI held a management committee meeting in January and ruled that riders who have transitioned will only be able to have a maximum testosterone threshold level of 5nmol/L, down from 10nmol/L.

The ruling will come into play from March 2020, with cyclists also required to show that it has been below this threshold for 12 consecutive months before they are permitted to compete.

In the new process, at least six weeks prior to competition, transgender athletes will be have to request to a UCI appointed medical manager to compete, where their file will then be passed on to three independent international experts.

Once the commission's members have deemed the athlete eligible according to the new 5nmol/L ruling, the athlete must then agree to remain below the threshold for the entire time they compete.

Should an athlete be found in breach of the new rulings, a penalty system will be introduced ranging from a warning to a full disqualification and fine.

All national cycling federations have also been asked to adhere to the new regulations.

Speaking about the change, UCI President David Lappartient said: "Thanks to this consensus, our Federation has given itself the wherewithal to take into consideration – and in reflection of developments in our society – the desire of transgender athletes to compete, while guaranteeing a level playing field for all competitors.

"This is an important step in the inclusion of transgender athletes in elite sport."

Controversy has recently surrounded the topic of transgender athletes in cycling after Rachel McKinnon retained her world sprint title in October.

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