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Triathlon becomes the first sport to ban ALL transgender women from competing in female events


Triathlon becomes the first British sport to ban ALL transgender women from competing in female events.

British Triathlon are instead changing their men’s category to ‘open’, which all trans athletes can enter – another first by a national governing body.

The new policy comes into force in January and replaces the old guidelines set in 2018, which allowed trans women to compete against females if they had suppressed their testosterone.

We concluded that triathlon is a gender-affected sport and that means that athletes who were born male have an advantage over athletes who were born female and this advantage is significant in swim, bike and run,’ said British Triathlon chief executive Andy Salmon. ‘We also concluded that physiological advantages are retained by testosterone suppression.

‘The new policy will require two categories – a female category, which will be open to athletes who are female sex at birth, and an open category, which will be open to all athletes, including men and transgender athletes.

FINA, swimming’s world governing body, announced on June 19 that athletes who had been through any part of male puberty would be barred from elite female competition. Instead the sport will now seek to create an ‘open’ category for transgender  female competitors.

British Triathlon, meanwhile, have applied their ban – from January 2023 – to both elite and grassroots levels of the sport.

Triathlon’s ban applies to any athlete who was ‘born male’.


For international competition, only athletes who are female sex at birth will be eligible to represent Great Britain, England, Scotland or Wales in female competition.

‘We believe this is the right policy for our sport in Great Britain. We are incredibly proud and precious about our tradition, and our key principle of gender equity, and that is why fairness in our sport is so important.

‘We have taken strong legal advice and believe our policy is legally robust.’

The new rules – which follow a survey of members earlier this year, including 16 trans athletes – will be enforced in any ‘competitive event‘ at all levels, meaning races which have timings and results for athletes over the age of 12.

British Triathlon’s announcement comes a week after Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries called a trans summit, urging all sports governing bodies to ban trans athletes from competing against women.


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