Sports

Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges ruled ineligible to compete in women’s event

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British Cycling has announced that transgender cyclist Emily Bridges is not eligible to compete in the women’s event of the British National Omnium Championships this weekend.

Ridges was due to compete alongside a star-studded field, including five-time Olympic gold medalist Dame Laura Kenny, at the Derby event on Saturday.

The 21-year-old was allowed to compete under British Cycling’s transgender and non-binary entry policy.

But British Cycling now says it has been informed by the Union Cycliste Internationale that Bridges is not eligible to compete.

“At British Cycling we believe that transgender and non-binary people should be able to find a home, feel welcome and included and be celebrated in our sport,” the governing body said in a statement.

“As part of the British Cycling transgender and non-binary entry policy, Emily Bridges was scheduled to compete in the British National Omnium Championships on Saturday 2nd April.

“We have now been informed by the Union Cycliste Internationale that, under their current guidelines, Emily is not eligible to compete in this event.

“We have had close discussions with the UCI this weekend about Emily’s participation and have also been in close contact with Emily and her family regarding her move and involvement in elite competition. We recognize the UCI’s decision regarding Emily’s participation but fully acknowledge her disappointment with today’s decision.”

Bridges – winner of the men’s points race at the British University Championships in Glasgow in February – began hormone therapy last year.

We also understand that in elite sport, the concept of fairness is essential

British Cycling regulations, updated in January this year, require riders to have had testosterone levels below five nanomoles per liter for a 12-month period prior to competition.

The initial decision to allow Bridges to race sparked much controversy, with critics claiming trans athletes could have an advantage over their competitors, and British Cycling calling for clarity across all sports regarding this issue.

“We believe that all participants in our sport deserve greater clarity and understanding in relation to participating in elite competition and we will continue to work with the UCI on both Emily’s case and the general situation regarding this issue,” added her.

“We also understand that in elite sport, the concept of fairness is essential. That is why today British Cycling is calling for a coalition to share, learn and understand more about how we can achieve fairness in a way that upholds the dignity and respect of all athletes.

“We know some of these conversations are taking place in the corners of the sports world, but we want to encourage all sports governing bodies, athletes, the transgender and non-binary athlete community, government and beyond to come together and find a better answer.”

Sport Secretary Nigel Huddleston previously said sport must provide a level playing field but acknowledged an “awkward path” ahead to providing inclusion for transgender athletes.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/cycling/transgender-cyclist-emily-bridges-declared-ineligible-to-race-in-womens-event-41505377.html Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges ruled ineligible to compete in women’s event

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