What’s Current: UCI to hit the brakes on policy allowing males to compete in women’s races

Austin Killips won overall victory competing in the women’s category at the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has signaled a shift in its transgender policy in response to backlash against Austin Killips becoming the first man to win a UCI women’s stage race. The world governing body for sports cycling said it would be reopening its consultation, aiming to reach a decision in August, having heard the “concerns” of female athletes about unfair competition in the sport. Inga Thompson, an American road cyclist who represented Team USA three times at the Olympics, called for professional riders to join her in protest against UCI’s policy allowing men to compete as women.

Tennis great Martina Navratilova also spoke out, tweeting, “Women’s sports is NOT THE PLACE for trans identified male athletes.”

Killips took home $35,000 U.S. after winning overall victory in the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico, competing in the female category. Addressing outcry, he said:

“When I see women who have historically been at the margin, whose athletic talent gets cut down because we are saying they’re also not biological women, that’s something I find deeply concerning. I want to make sure the data points we are using aren’t … or we are using sampling that is genuine, and models that are inclusive, and not defining other people out of existence because these tests are being done in the West.

I worry that we narrowly define womanhood and take away the right to compete against people who have historically been marginalized and whose athletic success has been historically undercut by a metric used to push them out of categories.”

Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.