Florida Congressman Greg Steube and Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville have unveiled a new bill aiming to ban transgender women from participating in any sports team recognised by the US Olympic Committee, potentially impacting amateur competitions as well.
Titled the Protection of Women in Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, the legislation is reportedly in response to USA Boxing’s trans-inclusive policies that permit trans women to compete in the women’s category, provided they undergo gender confirmation surgery, thus barring many from participation.
Tuberville criticised the policy change by USA Boxing, stating, “It is deeply disturbing to see USA Boxing change its policy to allow men to box against women. Men should not be competing in women’s sports at any level and especially not in a sport like boxing.”
The ex-football coach also claimed that such a policy was unfair and fundamentally wrong, stating that He aims to preserve fairness for American female athletes aspiring to represent their country in global competitions.
The upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic Games, scheduled for 26 July to 11 August, have introduced a new eligibility criterion for trans athletes, requiring them to have completed their transition before the age of 12. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) justifies this policy by suggesting that transitioning post-puberty could offer transgender athletes a competitive edge over cisgender participants.
This policy shift implies that athletes like New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard, the first openly transgender competitor in the Olympics during the Tokyo Games, would now be ineligible under the new guidelines.
Previously, the IOC mandated that trans women must maintain testosterone levels below ten nanomoles per litre for at least a year before competing. This requirement, however, led to the exclusion of cisgender women from female events due to naturally high testosterone levels.