Sharron Davies calls on female cyclists to revolt against ‘ridiculous’ rules for trans athletes

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Sharron Davies has told female cyclists they must stage a public revolt against their sport’s ‘ridiculous’ new transgender rules – amid accusations against them despite opposition from 93% of female cyclists.

Davies said those who have been ‘lost’ to transgender women may even need to boycott races after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) refused to impose a blanket ban on Emily Bridges and others who went through male puberty competing against them.

The UCI has found itself under attack from both sides of British sport’s toxic trans line after Bridges’ mum also accused her of ‘goalpost shifting’ as she announced tougher rules from 1st July that could ruin his plan to move on from racing the men until the summer. of 2024, denying him the chance to qualify for that year’s Olympics.

Davies, a British silver medalist in swimming at the 1980 Olympics who has become one of the faces of the campaign to protect the women’s category in her and other sports, has denounced the UCI’s decision to cut half the maximum allowable plasma testosterone for trans women running in this category from 5 nmol. /L to 2.5 nmol/L and doubling the period they must remain below this threshold before being allowed to compete from one to two years.

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A “very, very disappointed” Davies told Telegraph Sport: “It’s going to have to come to a point where the athletes themselves come together and just say, ‘We don’t have this; we’re not going to put up with this’ Me and the retired athletes and Fair Play For Women and all those bodies can’t do much and in the end they are the ones who will lose.

Davies spoke as Alessandra Cappellotto of the women’s branch of the only UCI-recognised cycling union, Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), told Telegraph Sport that, out of more than 1,000 riders to respond to a survey on trans women, 93 percent wanted they stopped running in the women’s category.

Cappellotto, head of CPA Women, said the UCI is aware of this investigation, as well as his organization’s proposal to establish a separate trans category. “We are not happy with this decision,” she added.

Calling for more scientific research into the whole issue, she also warned that current research indicated that forcing transgender women to lower their natural testosterone below 2.5 nmol/l was “dangerous to their health”. But she played down the prospect of a riders’ boycott to protest the new rules, adding: “A boycott is not our style.”

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Meanwhile, Bridges’ mother, Sandy Sullivan, released a statement on Twitter saying the family had received “no communication” from the UCI about the impact of its rule changes on her daughter’s application for leave the men’s events.

“Transgender men are not a threat to men’s sport”

That request has already been subject to a month-long delay which has prevented her from qualifying for the Commonwealth Games this summer and Sullivan said the latest move of the governing body’s goal posts has created a significant amount of distress and upheaval for Em, for us as a family and the wider trans community.”

The UCI’s announcement came three days before its swimming counterpart Fina plans to ratify its own new rules on transgender athletes, which will prevent Lia Thomas from qualifying for Paris 2024.

Davies said she hopes her own sport will “do the right thing” by banning the likes of Thomas, who in March became the first trans woman to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association title.

She added: “Women are just not little men without testosterone. It’s ridiculous. If someone has gone through male puberty, there are benefits and they will always have those benefits.

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“I find it mind-boggling that men are allowed to play fair sport and women are expected to move. And it doesn’t work the other way around. Transgender men are in no way a threat to men’s sport.

“So only women are losers. And, actually, transgender men, when they compete – biological women – they’re not going to compete in the men’s category, they stay in the women’s category, which we’ve seen at the NCAAs and we’ve seen at the Olympics with non-binaries identify women who choose to participate in women’s competitions.

“It’s so unfair and they’re not using science. There is no science in the world that shows you can dim male performance.

The UCI responded to attacks on its rule change saying it had been “based on the state of scientific knowledge published to date in this field and aims to promote the integration of transgender athletes into competitive sport. , while maintaining the fairness, equal opportunities and security of competitions”.

He added that the regulations “may change in the future as scientific knowledge evolves” and that he was considering discussions with other international federations on funding for future research.

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