Our statement in response to the IAAF Press Release about its review of transgender inclusion rules. We participated in person at the first meeting of this group of international federations, in October 2019 in Lausanne. We were the only group representing females in sport at the meeting.
It is now increasingly recognised that the 2015 transgender eligibility regulations published by the International Olympic Committee are not fit for purpose. We commend the IAAF for taking the lead to address this important issue and widening stakeholder engagement to include female athletes and their representatives.
Fair Play For Women welcomes the ongoing commitment to fair and equal opportunities for female athletes. We support the principle agreed by the international sport federations that the inclusion of transwomen within the female category should only be promoted with meaningful eligibility standards that do not create intolerable unfairness.
Based on current scientific understanding it is presently unclear how to successfully resolve the tension between the desire for transgender inclusion into the female category and the need to maintain fair and meaningful competition in female sport.
We agree that sufficient scientific evidence is not yet available, and we endorse the effort to research this area further and find an evidence-based solution.
The female sex category is the most effective tool we have in sport to deliver opportunities for females that are equivalent to those opportunities provided to males. Progress has been made but gender equality has still not yet been achieved for the female sex in sport.
Fair and equal opportunity for the female sex must prevail until the evidence exists to show us if and how the female sex category can be opened up to athletes who have undergone a testosterone-driven male puberty, without introducing intolerable unfairness.
Fair Play For Women calls for the current rules permitting the inclusion of transwomen in female sport to be suspended. We ask international federations to prioritise fairness for females by reserving the female category for the female sex, pending further scientific research.
Having been part of the initial meeting, we have been assured by World Athletics that we will be part of the ongoing consultation being run by the IAAF with other international sport federations. We look forward to the next stages.