US Olympic Committee Pushes ‘Open Categories’ for Transgender Athletes

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee is encouraging individual sports to consider “category qualifiers” — classified in some sports as “open” categories — to ensure transgender athletes will have events to participate in once they reach puberty.

The USOPC finalized its so-called position paper at its board meeting earlier this month and released it Monday, addressing a proposed path forward for transgender participation in sports.

The committee’s recommendations were based, it said, on the principle that science and “fairness” should guide all major decisions. As part of that, the two-page paper said the emphasis in youth sports (before children reach puberty) should be to push for as much participation as possible.

“Here, we believe the science is clearer that there is much less physical safety or competitive risk, or sporting advantage based on physiological sex characteristics,” the paper said.

The federation said it wanted to follow the science in determining the conditions under which transgender athletes can compete once they reach puberty, which triggers significant differences in testosterone production between biologically born males and females. It acknowledged that the “sport landscape may leave currently competing athletes feeling uncertain regarding potential shifts in their eligibility status.” (Read more from “US Olympic Committee Pushes ‘Open Categories’ for Transgender Athletes” HERE)

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