UCI 'reopens consultation' around transgender athlete policy

The governing body says it will reach a decision this August

The women's peloton at the World Championships
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), cycling's governing body, has decided to reopen consultation surrounding the participation of transgender athletes in its cycling events. 

The decision was taken at the body’s Management Committee meeting in Cagliari, Italy this week, and will involve discussions with athletes and national federations.

Members of the Management Committee will then debate the issue, before reaching a decision on the policy at their next meeting in Glasgow, Scotland this August. 

In a statement shared on Thursday, the UCI wrote: "The Management Committee decided to analyse the current situation by reopening consultation with the athletes and National Federations.

"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 practise cycling. 

“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.

Under the current guidelines, transgender women are able to compete in female UCI events provided they show reduced testosterone levels of 2.5 nanomoles per litre over a two-year period. Men typically have levels between 10 and 35 nanomoles per litre, while women’s levels tend to be around 0.5 to 2.4. 

The UCI's announcement comes just days after 27-year-old Austin Killips became the first transgender athlete to win a UCI women’s stage race at the US Tour of the Gila. Killips, who holds a valid UCI racing license to compete in women’s events, wrote on Instagram she endured “a week of nonsense on the internet” during the 2.2 class event. 

After the Tour of the Gila, the UCI defended its guidelines, writing in a statement: “The UCI acknowledges that transgender athletes may wish to compete in accordance with their gender identity. 

“The UCI rules are based on the latest scientific knowledge and have been applied in a consistent manner. The UCI continues to follow the evolution of scientific findings and may change its rules in the future as scientific knowledge evolves.”

The UK’s governing body for cycling, British Cycling, is also currently reviewing its policy on transgender and non-binary athletes, with an updated policy due by the end of the month. 

According to a report in The Times, published on Tuesday, British Cycling is considering a ban on transgender riders from competing in elite women’s races. 

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