British Cycling have banned transgender women from racing in the female category at all events to ‘safeguard the fairness of competition’.
The governing body’s new rules for competitive events, due to be implemented later this year, will see racing split into “open” and “female” categories, with transgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals and those whose sex was assigned male at birth eligible to compete in the open category.
The female category will remain for those whose sex was assigned female at birth, and transgender men who are yet to begin hormone therapy.
consolidated into the open category, in which those whose sex was assigned as female at birth can also compete if they so wish.
British Cycling suspended its previous policy last April amid controversy after transgender woman Emily Bridges sought to race at the national omnium championships as a female rider.
The new policy change ends Bridges’ hopes of competing in women’s competitions.
In a statement on Instagram, Bridge called the policy a “violent act”, accused British Cycling of “furthering a genocide against us” and said the “racing scene was dying” under the organisation’s stewardship.
She also suggested she was contemplating leaving the sport, writing: “I don’t even know if I want to race my bike anymore. The danger and everything that would come with racing makes it a pretty hard thing to justify to myself. But you have no right telling me when I am done. This is my decision and mine alone.
“I might be speaking strongly at the moment but this is my reality right now. It is literally a fight for survival for me and my family at the moment.”
Bridges also said: “I agree there needs to be a nuanced policy discussion and continue to conduct research, but this hasn’t happened. Research isn’t being viewed critically, or any discussion about the relevance of the data to specific sports.
Any discussion is inherently political and driven by bad faith actors. I’ve given my body up to science for the last two years, and this data will be out soon. There is actual, relevant data coming soon and discussions need to be had.”