Navratilova: ‘Women’s sports is not the place for trans athletes’

by WorldTribune Staff, May 5, 2023

Tennis great Martina Navratilova said trans identified males should not be competing in women’s sports after a biological male identifying as a woman won an official women’s cycling race in New Mexico.

Austin Killips, a man, won the women’s division of the elite-level Tour of the Gila road race and a $35,000 first place prize.

Biological male Austin Killips won the women’s division of the Tour of the Gila road race.

Killips became the first trans cyclist to win an official event in the women’s category of a race under the authority of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world’s governing body for cycling.

Navratilova believes Killips should also be the last trans cyclist to win a UCI event.

“Transgender cyclist Austin Killips wins women’s race, causes outrage- this will happen more and more- women’s sports is NOT THE PLACE for trans identified male athletes,” Navratilova tweeted on Wednesday.

Former world champion cyclist Alison Sydor tweeted: “The current UCI rules that allow males to compete in female cycling events are not fair to female athletes. Time for UCI to admit this current rule situation is unsustainable and leaving a black mark on cycling as a fair sport for females.”

The UCI initially defended its position on allowing trans cyclists.

“The UCI acknowledges that transgender athletes may wish to compete in accordance with their gender identity,” the organization said on Tuesday. “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.”

By Thursday, however, the UCI backed off that claim amid a torrent of criticism and said it is willing to reconsider its trans policies.

“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 group said, according to The Guardian. “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.”

Navratilova has also slammed transgender swimmer Lia Thomas for claiming that critics of trans athletes use feminism as a mask to hide transphobia.

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