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IOC Introduces “Groundbreaking” New Framework for Transgender Athletes

IOC Introduces “Groundbreaking” New Framework for Transgender Athletes

The International Olympic Committee has unveiled a new framework for transgender and intersex athletes, according to NBC News. The policy change comes after years of discussion among more than 250 athletes and organizations, and centers around 10 principles: inclusion, prevention of harm, non-discrimination, fairness, no presumption of advantage, evidence-based approach, primacy of health and bodily autonomy, stakeholder-centered approach, right to privacy, and periodic reviews, according to ESPN. 

The new “IOC Framework on Fairness, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations,” replaces the committee’s 2015 guidelines, which used testosterone levels to determine women’s sport eligibility, and mandated certain medical procedures now considered “unnecessary.”

“This Framework recognises both the need to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their gender identity or sex variations, can practise sport in a safe, harassment-free environment that recognises and respects their needs and identities,” committee officials said.

As the first out transgender athlete on a U.S. national team and 2016 Sprint Duathlon World Championship competitor, Chris Mosier had challenged IOC policy in the past, but commended the committee’s updated principles.

“The new IOC Framework makes clear that no athlete has an inherent advantage & moves away from eligibility criteria focused on testosterone levels, a practice that caused harmful & abusive practices such as invasive physical examinations & sex testing,” Mosier said.

The IOC is now coordinating a “roll-out” of the new guidelines. The first phase, consisting of webinars on the subject, will take place this winter at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

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