Boris Johnson backs moves to ban male-born trans athletes


The Prime Minister revealed he supports recent bans in swimming and rugby league, indicating similar measures could be taken in other sports.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries will tomorrow hold a meeting with Sport England and organisations representing football, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics and other sports.

She will urge them to follow the example of the International Swimming Federation (Fina) – the sport’s world governing body – by stating trans women who have “gone through male puberty” can no longer enter female events. That move was followed a day later by a similar announcement from the International Rugby League (IRL) global body.

Mr Johnson, speaking during his overseas diplomatic tour about the stance taken by Fina and the IRL, said: “I haven’t studied it in detail but I see no reason to dissent.”

When asked if a woman can be born with a penis, the PM replied: “Not without being a man.”

He said he believed there is a difference between being a woman and a trans woman, adding: “It’s very very important that as a society we should be as understanding of everybody else as possible.”

“When you start to move from issues of sexuality to issues of gender, you start to raise particular problems.”

“I’ve spoken of three concerns I’ve had in the past. They are to do with the age at which you can deem it competent to transition, the question of safe spaces for women, and the difficulties you have with sporting competitions.”

“These are all very difficult problems and you have to be very sensitive.”

Ms Dorries intends to make it “crystal clear” that she wants Sport England to introduce a ban.

Fina acted after a scientific panel said going  through male puberty” meant trans women had a “relative performance advantage over biological females even after medication to cut testosterone”.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has hinted that his sport could impose a similar ban.

And football’s world body Fifa has also said it is reviewing its “gender eligibility regulations”.

Cycling’s world body UCI banned trans biker Emily Bridges, 21, from the British National Omnium Championships in March after boycott fears.

Ms Dorries argued: “In the vast majority of sports, asking women and teenage girls to compete against someone who was biologically born a male is inherently unfair.”

“I have the greatest compassion for anyone who finds themselves living in a body they don’t recognise but we can’t pretend that sex doesn’t matter.”



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