Cyclist Rachel McKinnon criticises Paula Radcliffe for trans athletes stance

Rachel McKinnon and Paula Radcliffe

World champion trans cyclist Rachel McKinnon has criticised Paula Radcliffe for spreading “irrational fear,” after the former British long-distance runner said that trans athletes should be excluded from elite sport.

Radcliffe said in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday (March 29): “There are absolutely probably hundreds of transgenders who want to take part in sport for all of the other benefits that it brings.

“And all we’re saying is: ‘That’s fine, but not elite sport.’

Radcliffe, who has held the Women’s World Marathon Record since 2003, added: “Because elite sport, that female section of elite sport, has to be protected, so that females can genuinely reach the top of it.”

Rachel McKinnon: Paula Radcliffe “continues to ignore facts” on trans athletes

However, McKinnon, who became the first transgender woman to win a world cycling title in October, said that Radcliffe had ignored factual evidence and was promoting an “irrational fear” of trans athletes.

“The rights of trans athletes shouldn’t hang on what any individual says or does,” she told PinkNews.

“Rights don’t work like that.”

Rachel McKinnon who has criticised Paula Radcliffe

Rachel McKinnon became the first trans woman to win a cycling world title in October. (rachelvmckinnon/Instagram/Craig Huffman Photography)

The Canadian cyclist, who is also an associate professor in philosophy at the College of Charleston in America, continued: “Paula continues to ignore facts: trans women are legally female [and] trans women have been permitted to compete in Olympic-eligible sports since October 2003.

“In the Olympic Games, since 2004, there have been over 52,000 Olympians and not a single trans person has ever qualified, let alone won a medal.

“The very idea that we must ‘protect’ cis women’s—or ‘female’—sport from trans women, who are legally female, too, is an irrational fear of trans women, which is the dictionary definition of transphobia.”

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