World Athletics has prohibited transgender women from taking part in women’s sports during the Summer 2024 Paris Olympics, to “protect the feminine category.”
All the hard work done by French-born Halba Diouf is for nothing.
Diouf was born male and had been training for a 200-meter race for her native France.
French authorities acknowledged her transition in 2021. It does not mean anything for the next summer’s Olympics.
Diouf, quoted by Reuters, commented on the WA’s ruling, citing the previous rules that stated trans women and athletes who have differences in sex development (DSD) were allowed to run in 400m and mile events if they had natural plasma testosterone levels below five nanomoles/liter. And sprinters of 100 meters and 200 meters were allowed to compete.
“I cannot understand this decision as transgender women have always been allowed to compete if their testosterone levels were below a certain threshold,” Diouf told Reuters. “The only safeguard transgender women have is their right to live as they wish, and we are being refused that, we are being hounded. … I feel marginalized because they are excluding me from competitions.”
World Athletics, despite Diouf’s pleas, has no regrets over its decision. It was made in order to maintain fair competition.
When the decision was made, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe stated that “decisions are difficult when there are conflicting rights and needs between different groups.”
World Athletics lowered the maximum plasma levels of testosterone for long-distance running by half in March. The level must then be maintained for at least two years for athletes with DSD to participate.
The Paris Games will begin on July 26th, 2024.