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Transgender cyclist blocked from women's championship race after boycott threats from biologically female contestants

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Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images

A transgender female cyclist was blocked from participating in the women’s British National Omnium Championship over the weekend, as Emily Bridges is still registered as a male cyclist, the Guardian reported.

In addition, a number of the race's participants were said to be ready to boycott the race if Bridges was in it, the outlet added.

What are the details?

Bridges, 21, set a national junior men’s record over 25 miles in 2018, the Guardian said, adding that the cyclist began hormone therapy last year to reduce testosterone levels.

However, a number of biological female cyclists discussed boycotting Saturday's event because they believed Bridges has an unfair advantage, the outlet said, adding that Bridges was involved with the Great Britain Academy program as a male cyclist until being dropped in 2020.

In addition, Bridges is still registered as a male cyclist and can't race as a woman until the male ID expires, according to Union Cycliste Internationale regulations, the Guardian said.

How did Bridges react?

Bridges was “disappointed” with UCI’s decision, the outlet said.

“We have been in close discussions with the UCI regarding Emily’s participation this weekend and have also engaged closely with Emily and her family regarding her transition and involvement in elite competitions,” British Cycling said, according to the Guardian. “We acknowledge the decision of the UCI with regards to Emily’s participation, however we fully recognize her disappointment with today’s decision.”

A comprehensive scientific review by the five British sports councils in September said there were “retained differences in strength, stamina, and physique between the average woman compared with the average transgender woman or non-binary person registered male at birth."

Trans cyclist banned from national championships youtu.be

Anything else?

Transgender female athletes competing against biological female athletes has been a growing issue on the world stage, particularly over the last year with transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard going to the Olympic Games and transgender swimmer Lia Thomas competing in last month's NCAA women's championships. Hubbard didn't win in Tokyo, but Thomas was victorious in one swimming event.

Podcaster Joe Rogan said last week that Thomas' participation is an "assault on women's sports."

President Joe Biden's administration reportedly soon will overhaul rules for college athletes to favor transgender participants; Title IX — a 1972 law that bans sex discrimination in education — also will outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

(H/T: The Daily Wire)

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