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Tipsheet

Transgender Athlete Slams Ban From Competing in the Olympics

AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File

A transgender athlete who has been banned from competing in women’s sports at the Paris Olympics has come out against the policy barring him from competing against women.

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The runner, Halba Diouf, 21, from France, was born male and began to transition to live as a woman when he became an adult, according to a report from Fox News

Earlier this year, as Townhall covered, World Athletics, the governing body for track and field, cross country running, road running, race walking, and mountain running, announced that biological male transgender athletes could no longer compete in women’s events in an effort to preserve fairness and integrity in sports. 

According to a press release from the organization, it “became apparent” that there was “little support” for the organization’s previous male-to-female trangender policy, “which required transgender athletes to maintain their testosterone levels below 2.5nmol/L for 24 months to be eligible to compete internationally in the female category.”

“In regard to transgender athletes, the Council has agreed to exclude male-to-female transgender athletes who have been through male puberty from female World Rankings competition from 31 March 2023,” the press release added. “In these circumstances, the Council decided to prioritise fairness and the integrity of the female competition before inclusion.”

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This week, Diouf slammed the decision, stating that transgender athletes were previously allowed to run in events between 400 meters and the mile, as well as 100-meter and 200-meter races. 

"I cannot understand this decision as transgender women have always been allowed to compete if their testosterone levels were below a certain threshold," Diouf said in an interview with 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."

According to Reuters, Diouf was born in Senegal and moved to France at age four. Diouf’s gender transition was “recognized” by French authorities in 2021. Diouf’s endocrinologist, Alain Berliner, said he is “a woman, from a physiological, hormonal and legal point of view.” 

Earlier this year, world-renowned surfer Bethany Hamilton, the subject of the film "Soul Surfer," who lost her arm in a shark attack and went on to win national competitions, came out against a new policy by the World Surf League that would allow male athletes who identify as transgender to compete in the women’s category. The policy was similar to World Athletics, where transgender athletes could compete based on their levels of testosterone. 

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As Townhall reported, Hamilton posted an Instagram video slamming the policy. 

“This concerns me as a professional athlete that has been competing in the World Surf League events for the past 15+ years, and I feel that I must speak up and stand up for those in position that may feel that they cannot say something about this,” she said. “I personally won’t be competing in or supporting the World Surf League if this rule remains.”

“Is a hormone level an honest and accurate depiction of that someone indeed is a male or female?...How did whoever decided these hormone rules come to the conclusion that 12 months of testing testosterone make it a fair and legal switch?” she added. 

“I personally think that the best solution would be to create a different division so that all can have a fair opportunity to showcase their passion and talent,” she concluded. “We are seeing glimpses of male-bodied dominance in women’s sports like running, swimming, and others,” she said, seemingly referring to Will “Lia” Thomas, a male who competed against women in college swimming and took home an NCAA Division I Title last year. 

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