Transgender Team GB athletes set to make history at Rio Olympics

Two transgender athletes are set to compete for the UK at the Rio Olympics next month.

Until this year, rules governing athletics had prevented trans and intersex people from taking part in events based on a number of medical factors.

However, ahead of this year’s Rio Games the International Olympic Committee adopted a new policy on ‘Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism’ that loosens the restrictions.

The new rules remove all restrictions on trans men taking part in men’s events. Trans women will be required to have a low testosterone level to take part in women’s events, but will not face restrictions based on genital surgical status.

According to newspaper reports, two British trans women are in contention to compete in Rio – and could become the world’s first transgender Olympians if selected to compete.

The pair, who have not publicly been identified, have already been allowed to compete at “a European sporting event”, newspapers report.

Delia Johnston of Trans In Sport said the pair had “transitioned long ago and have competed at a European championship for this country”

She explained “Their sports federations are aware of their gender history.

“They should be selected [for Rio], but fear they will be deemed too tricky.”

However, she added that she doubts the pair would win medals even if they are capable of doing so.

Ms Johnston said: “But if they were in a gold or silver ­position they’d probably drop back because their fear of ridicule is so massive.”