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    RADIO ROXI TIMELESS TUNES

Sports News

Transgender athletes accused of ‘stealing medals’ in women’s sport as bitter row rages on

today29/12/2023

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British swimming icon Sharron Davies has accused transgender athletes of “stealing medals” from women and girls with a fresh plea for national bodies to step in and make changes.

Davies joined fellow Olympian Daley Thompson and tennis legend Martina Navratilova in backing a report from the Policy Exchange think tank that argued transgender inclusion in women’s sports threatens “the entirety of female sport”.


The report has called for the Government to withdraw funding from any governing body that refuses “to update their policies to ensure there is a protected female single‑sex category”.

Davies has been outspoken about the inclusion of transgender athletes in female sport and hailed the decision from World Athletics earlier this year to ban biological males from competing in female international events.

Sharron Davies has backed the report

Sharron Davies has backed the report

PA

But the former Olympian feels there is more work to be done at grassroots level and points to the report from Policy Exchange as further proof.

She said: “At the 1980 Olympics, aged 17, I was the only female individual medallist in the entirety of the GB Olympic team.

“I was cheated out of my Olympic gold in swimming, because of the German Democratic Republic’s doping scandal, in which female athletes were pumped full of artificial testosterone in order to win as many events as possible.

“I know first-hand how hard women in sport have had to fight not to be considered second class athletes.

“Four decades on, women’s sport is under threat again. Except this time, mediocre male athletes are self-identifying their way onto women’s podiums, stealing their medals and opportunities.

“In this report, Policy Exchange articulates why this problem is a threat to the integrity of sport.

“There is a sense within sports policy that while we should protect the female category within elite sports, women and girls participating and competing at amateur levels should budge over.

“They must ‘be kind’ and ‘inclusive’ while having to pretend that it is not grossly unfair, demotivating and possibly unsafe to accommodate biological males within their races, teams and sports days.

Sharron Davies has been an advocate for single-sex categories

Sharron Davies has been an advocate for single-sex categories

GETTY

“It is the participation, fairness and safety of these women and girls that Policy Exchange focuses on within this paper.

“For too long, those responsible for setting policy within sports have prioritised transgender inclusion over the rights of female athletes.

“While it is positive that some sports – including my own – swimming, have gone some way to redressing this balance, Policy Exchange sets out clearly here that there is much more to be done.

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Lia Thomas has caused a stir in swimming

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“As I document in my book ‘Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport’, we risk alienating a generation of future female athletes if we pretend that biology does not matter within sport.”

She added: “Every sport, at every level, from grassroots to elite, must ensure that the female category is ringfenced for biological females.

“I have dedicated my life to challenging the injustice I experienced as a young athlete and will continue to do so until facts once again trump feelings.”



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