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Tipsheet

Transgender Athlete Wins NYC Women’s Cycling Event

A transgender athlete won a women’s cycling event in New York City over the weekend, according to a report from Fox News.

The athlete, Tiffany Thomas, posed between two biological females in first place at the Randall’s Island Criteriums. Thomas, who is transgender, reportedly rides for L.A. Sweat (via Fox News):

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It appeared to be the first time Thomas has finished in first place this year. Thomas has finished in first place 16 total times in her career, according to her Road Results page.

On her Road Results page, Thomas is listed in Category 1 which is considered an elite level under USA Cycling rules. USA Cycling follows the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rules regarding transgender athletes at the elite level of competition. USA Cycling points out the "main points" on its website.

"Those who transition from female to male (FTM) are eligible to compete in the male category upon providing a written and signed declaration acceptable to the UCI Medical Manager. It is the responsibility of athletes to be aware of current WADA/USADA policies and to file for appropriate therapeutic use exemptions," the first rule states.

"Those who transition from male to female (MTF) are eligible to compete in the female category under the following conditions:

"The athlete has declared that their gender identity is female."

"The athlete must demonstrate that their total testosterone level in serum has been below 2.5 nmol/L for a period of at least 24 months."

"The athlete's total testosterone level in serum must remain below 2.5 nmol/L throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category."

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KATV reported that one critic pointed out that Thomas went from “a total beginner to the elite level in just 5 years.” 

In response to the criticism, Thomas wrote on Instagram on Thursday that “my two best friends are just as strong as me, I just happened to have a better day on that particular day. They will assuredly beat me at future races.”

Last week, Hannah Arensman, a 35-time winner on the national cyclocross circuit, said in an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court that she retired from her sport when she finished in fourth place between two male-bodied “transgender” athletes at a competition (via the Supreme Court of the United States):

I have decided to end my cycling career. At my last race at the recent UCI Cyclocross National Championships in the elite women’s category in December 2022, I came in 4th place, flanked on either side by male riders awarded 3rd and 5th places. My sister and family sobbed as they watched a man finish in front of me, having witnessed several physical interactions with him throughout the race. 

Additionally, it is difficult for me to think about the very real possibility I was overlooked for an international selection on the US team at Cyclocross Worlds in February 2023 because of a male competitor. 

Moving forward, I feel for young girls learning to compete and who are growing up in a day when they no longer have a fair chance at being the new record 20 holders and champions in cycling because men want to compete in our division. I have felt deeply angered, disappointed, overlooked, and humiliated that the rule makers of women’s sports do not feel it is necessary to protect women’s sports to ensure fair competition for women anymore.

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