British Cycling has banned transgender and non-binary athletes from competing in elite level competitions after suspending its current policy.
The governing body released a statement confirming the immediate decision, citing the policy is “unfair on all female riders and poses a challenge to the integrity of racing.”
The suspension is pending a review, which will be carried out “in the coming weeks.”
British Cycling followed up with the promise to “work tirelessly” to keep hate and discrimination out of the sport.
“As an organisation we remain committed to ensuring that transgender and non-binary people are welcomed, supported and celebrated in the cycling community, and the inclusion of these groups within non-competitive activities remains unaffected by the suspension,” the statement continued.
Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he believes transgender women should not be eligible to compete in women’s sports.
Johnson had initially been speaking on the government’s approach to conversion therapy in England and Wales.
Conversion therapy is set to be banned in the UK, but only for gay and bisexual people, not transgender individuals.
The Prime Minister followed up with his views on transgender athletes competing in elite level sport.
“I don’t think biological males should be competing in female sporting events. Maybe that’s a controversial thing to say, but it just seems to me to be sensible.
“I also happen to think that women should have spaces — whether it’s in hospitals, prison or changing rooms — which are dedicated to women. That’s as far as my thinking has developed on this issue.
“If that puts me in conflict with some others, then we have got to work it all out. It doesn’t mean I’m not immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender, to transition, and it’s vital we give people the maximum love and support in making those decisions.
“These are complex issues and they can’t be solved with one swift, easy piece of legislation. It takes a lot of thought to get this right.”
Emily Bridges, a British transgender cyclist, was recently ruled ineligible to compete in the women’s National Omnium Championships.
Bridges has since been dealt the blow of being told she cannot compete at British Cycling events as a whole, following the suspension of the policy that required riders to have had testosterone levels below five nanomoles per litre for 12 month prior to a competition.
Dumped by email— Sandy 💜💙❤ 🏳️🌈 Ally She/Her (@sullivansa1) April 8, 2022
We've just received this in our in box
We will be making a statement at some point during the next 24 hrs pic.twitter.com/yXFhLHRHLq
Sandy, Bridges’ mother, took to Twitter shortly after British Cycling announced its decision. She stated her daughter had been “dumped by email” and that they would be making their own statement “at some point during the next 24 hours.”
A recent review from The Sports Councils Equality Group said: “For many sports, the inclusion of transgender people, fairness and safety cannot co-exist in a single competitive model.”