- British Rowing has decided to ban transgender women from competing in its women’s events, stating that only individuals “assigned female at birth” can compete in these races and represent Britain internationally from next month.
- An open category will be available for transgender and non-binary competitors. The new rule was formulated after extensive research and consultation with various stakeholders, and it will be reviewed annually.
- While British Rowing is implementing these new rules, World Rowing, the international federation, continues to allow transgender women to compete in the female category, subject to a restricted testosterone level.
In a significant move, British Rowing, the sport’s governing body in the country, has announced a new policy that bans transgender women from competing in women’s events.
This new rule will come into effect from next month, permitting only individuals “who are assigned female at birth” to compete in women’s races and represent Britain internationally.
Addressing the issue of fairness in women’s events, a subject that has also been tackled by governing bodies in cycling, track and field, and swimming, British Rowing is taking a stance that contrasts with that of the international federation, World Rowing.
The latter allows transgender women to compete in the female category, provided they maintain a restricted testosterone level.
While taking a firm stand on the eligibility of competitors in women’s races, British Rowing will not entirely exclude transgender and non-binary athletes. They have committed to offering an open category for these competitors.
British Rowing explained their decision in a statement: “British Rowing is committed to promoting an environment in which rowing is accessible and inclusive and to ensuring that we provide opportunities and enjoyment for everyone.
“In order to achieve this in a fair manner, we need to establish conditions for competition that guarantee fair and meaningful competition by placing necessary and proportionate restrictions on eligibility. We already do so in lightweight and adaptive rowing categories, and we are now doing so in the women’s category.”
The organization further noted that this new policy was the result of “extensive and ongoing research and consultation with stakeholders, the rowing community, academics, and other relevant organizations, and NGBs since 2021 and is based on the scientific evidence available at this time. The eligibility requirements of World Rowing, our international federation, have also been considered in the context of our decisions.”
British Rowing also revealed that the new rule will be subject to annual review.