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British Cycling bans transgender women from women’s competitions to ‘safeguard the fairness of competition’

British Cycling has banned transgender women from racing in the women’s 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 races divided into “open” and “female” categories, with transgender women, transgender men, non- binary and those whose sex was assigned male at birth eligible to compete in the open category.

The female category will remain for those whose gender was assigned female at birth and transgender men who have not yet started hormone therapy.

The current male category will be consolidated into the open category, in which those whose gender was assigned female at birth can also compete if they wish.

British Cycling suspended its previous policy last April amid controversy after transgender woman Emily Bridges sought to compete in the national omnium championships as a 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 “fostering genocide against us” and said “the racing scene is dying” under the direction of the ‘organization.

She also suggested she was considering quitting the sport, writing: “I don’t even know if I want to race my bike anymore. The danger and all that would come with racing makes it pretty hard to justify for myself. But you I’m not allowed to tell me when I’m done. It’s my decision and mine alone.

“I may be speaking loudly right now, but that’s my reality right now. It’s literally a fight for my survival and that of my family right now.”

Bridges also said: “I agree that there needs to be a nuanced policy discussion and continue to do research, but that hasn’t happened. Research is not viewed critically, nor is any discussion of the relevance of the data for specific sports.

“Any discussion is inherently political and driven by actors in bad faith. I have donated my body to science for the past two years, and this data will be released soon. There is real and relevant data coming soon and discussions need to take place.”

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