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LGBT+ Culture Secretary urges ban of transgender athletes from elite women’s sports

CULTURE Secretary Lucy Frazer today urged sporting chiefs to ban transgender athletes from elite women’s sporting events.

Writing in the Mail, Frazer said sporting bodies have a duty to set out clear guidance and take an “unambiguous position” on whether transgender athletes can compete.

She said she had spoken to representatives of sports including cricket and football at a meeting on Monday.

The FA and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s policies are under review, but do currently permit transgender women to compete in female competitions subject to certain conditions.

“For years it was too loaded an issue to touch, despite the fact that it has the potential to make women’s playing fields far from level,” Frazer said.

“That’s why this week I called together representatives from key sporting organisations, like the England and Wales Cricket Board and Football Association, to encourage them to follow the lead of other sports in not allowing trans athletes to compete against women at the elite level.”

The Culture Secretary said that “biology matters” when it comes to sport.

“Sporting bodies have a duty to women competing in sport to set out clear guidance and take an unambiguous position,” she said.

“In competitive sport, biology matters. And where male strength, size and body shape gives athletes an indisputable edge, this should not be ignored.

“By protecting the female category, they can keep women’s competitive sport safe and fair and encourage the young girls who dream of one day being elite sportswomen.

“We must get back to giving women a level playing field to compete. We need to give women a sporting chance.”

Frazer gave examples of sports such as cycling and running, which she said had made “positive progress.”

“By implementing an ‘open’ category for transgender athletes to compete against those with a birth sex of male, the ‘female’ category remains solely for those with a birth sex of female,” she said.

“Everyone can take part and nobody experiences an unfair advantage.”

Referring to the Cass Review, she said inaction “cannot be an option.”

The Cass Review, published last week, found children had been let down by a lack of research and evidence on the use of puberty blockers and hormones.

The recommendations in the lengthy and long-awaited report prompted NHS England, which had already stopped puberty blockers being given to under-16s, to announce a review into the use of hormones.

“Among the many lessons of the Cass Review, it has shown us that inaction and a failure to confront the issues at stake cannot be an option,” Frazer said.

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