International Olympic Committee praises transgender woman weightlifter's 'courage and tenacity' ahead of Olympic debut

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International Olympic Committee praises transgender woman weightlifter's 'courage and tenacity' ahead of Olympic debut
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The International Olympic Committee praised New Zealand athlete Laurel Hubbard, a biological male who identifies as a woman, ahead of her debut in Olympic women's weightlifting.

Hubbard, 43, is preparing to make Olympic history when she competes Monday.

“Everyone agrees that trans women are women," said IOC medical and science director Dr. Richard Budgett.

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Critics say Hubbard holds an unfair advantage against biologically female competitors since she was born male and transitioned at the age of 35 after going through male puberty.

The controversy was “large, difficult, and complex," Budgett said.

“To put it in a nutshell, the IOC had a scientific consensus back in 2015,” Budgett said. “There are no IOC rules or regulations around transgender participation. That depends on each international federation. So Laurel Hubbard is a woman, is competing under the rules of her federation, and we have to pay tribute to her courage and tenacity in actually competing and qualifying for the games.”

“There are lots of aspects of physiology and anatomy, and the mental side, that contribute to an elite performance. It’s very difficult to say, ‘Yes, she has an advantage because she went through male puberty,’ when there’s so many other factors to take into account,” he continued, adding that each sport must decide for itself what is fair based on the physiological demands of the competition.

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Olympic rules allow for transgender athletes to compete in women's sports so long as their total testosterone level in serum is below 10 nanomoles per liter. IOC weightlifting "requires two years of hormone therapy, instead of just one as listed by the IOC," according to TransAthlete.com.

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Tags: News, Olympics, Transgender, Sports, 2020 Olympics

Original Author: Matthew Miller

Original Location: International Olympic Committee praises transgender woman weightlifter's 'courage and tenacity' ahead of Olympic debut