Cycling New Zealand’s decision to restore fairness for females in cycling is a positive move that has been welcomed by Save Women’s Sports Australasia spokeswoman Ro Edge.
“It is great that Cycling New Zealand has changed its rules, as they were enabling male born cyclists to unfairly win female competitions, prize money and accolades in events throughout our country,” Ms Edge says.
“The situation was demoralising and disheartening for our best female competitors, so I’m really excited for them that this change has occurred and their opportunities for fair competition have been restored.”
Cycling New Zealand (CNZ) is updating its Transgender Policy to align with the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), which in July banned male transgender athletes, who transitioned after male puberty, from participating in women’s events. If CNZ follow the UCI’s lead, they will rename the Men’s category as Men/Open to enable any athlete who does not meet the conditions for participation in women’s events to be admitted without restriction.
“The decision reflects that cycling now acknowledges male born cyclists have athletic performance advantages, even with testosterone reduction, over females.” The decision only applies to elite cycling events, with rules for other events to be determined by the relevant organisers.
“My hope is that CNZ gives strong guidelines to local clubs running other events and categories to take the pressure off them and event organisers when male born cyclists wish to compete in the female category.”
SWSA is hopeful that both the UCI and Cycling NZ will eventually move to protecting the female category from birth, but still applauds them for their updated policies, which are a move in the right direction.
“Other New Zealand sporting bodies now need to step up and update their policies so females in their sports can be assured of fair competition.”