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UCI plans to ‘re-open’ talks on transgender policy following Austin Killips’ win

International cycling body to discuss policy in August

Austin Killips at the Tour of the Gila Photo by: Tour of the Gila

The UCI is planning to reopen talks on transgender policy in August in Glasgow. The decision is apparently the result of American Austin Killips becoming the first transgender rider to win a UCI women’s stage race. The 27-year-old, who transitioned in 2019, took the overall win at the Tour of the Gila, as well as the Queen of the Mountains jersey, and fifth and final stage.

Austin Killips, Alex Hoehn, win Tour of the Gila

Following the victory, social media was filled with vitriol for the cyclist, despite Killips riding within the current rules.

The UCI now seems to be doing an about-face compared to its statement on Tuesday. There, the international governing body defended Killips, saying that transgender athletes are fully allowed to race according to their gender identity, as long as their testosterone levels are reduced. Currently the regulation stipulates cyclists must have less than 2.5 nanomoles per litre for the previous two years.

However, in a statement on Thursday, the UCI said that it was “reopening consultation with the athletes and national federations, and therefore agreed to debate and take an eventual decision at its next meeting, in Glasgow in August.”

The statement said that the policy will be reviewed again.

“The UCI’s objective remains the same: to take into consideration, in the context of the evolution of our society, the desire of transgender athletes to practice cycling,” the statement continued. “The UCI also hears the voices of female athletes and their concerns about an equal playing field for competitors, and will take into account all elements, including the evolution of scientific knowledge.”

On Wednesday, British Cycling announced it may be banning transgender cyclists from female categories. In the last year, both World Athletics and World Swimming, have also disallowed transgender athletes who were biological males at puberty from competing in female categories.