Triathlon has banned all transgender women from competing in female events at both elite and grassroots level, becoming the first British sport to implement such tight restrictions.
Competition at the elite and grassroots level from the age of 12 and over will be split into a female category and an open category, which will welcome male, transgender, and non-binary athletes.
The female category will be open solely to athletes assigned the female sex at birth.
The announcement was made on Wednesday, following a lengthy and independent consultation, becoming the first national governing body to include trans athletes in a competitive open category, rather than one separate from the male and female categories.
The decision comes after swimming’s world governing body Fina decided last month that any athlete who had undergone male puberty would be barred from its elite female events.
The new policy is scheduled to come into force in January of 2023 as a replacement for the old regulations made in 2018.
British Triathlon chief executive Andy Salmon said: “It would be conceited of us to say there isn’t a little bit of trepidation, but we firmly and passionately believe in doing what’s right for our sport, not necessarily what’s easy, or even what’s popular.
“We recognise some people might disagree with this policy. I think we’re very clear about that and I, and the board, and the organisation, respect everybody’s point of view on this subject. But we think it’s the right thing to do.
“We strongly believe that triathlon is a sport for anyone. Our sport was founded relatively late, in the 1970s, and with gender equity at its core.
“This is something that we’re incredibly proud of and incredibly precious about. And this is one of the reasons why fairness in our sport is so important to us.”
The review took place following the publication of guidance on transgender inclusion in domestic sport by the Sports Councils’ Equality Group (SCEG) in September 2021.
Under the new British Triathlon policy, only athletes who are the female sex at birth will be eligible to represent Great Britain, England, Scotland or Wales in international events in the female category run under the auspices of World and European Triathlon