Olympic sprinter expertly shut down after saying he wants to identify as a woman to ‘break records’

British Olympic sprinter James Ellington has come under fire for comments he made about identifying as a woman to break sprint records.

On October 21 – apparently in reaction to the news that trans cyclist Rachel McKinnon defended her sprint title at the track cycling world championships – Ellington tweeted that these are “ridiculous times”.

“If I decide from now on I want to be recognised as a woman and break all the WOMENS british sprint records, is that fair,” Ellington said, adding, “Living in ridiculous times.”

Lynne Featherstone, the former Lib Dem MP who was a key orchestrator of legalising equal marriage in the UK, replied to Ellington by simply saying: “That’s a ridiculous statement.”

And Amanda Jette Knox, a gay mother of four, said, “Yes! Go for it. You can deal with the massive changes to your body (once you can get access to medical care, which can take a long while), the discrimination, mockery, media attacks, loss of relationships, and if you’re lucky, some wins on the track. Report back ok? Good luck!

The 34-year-old Olympic sprinter later doubled down on his comments, saying, “So far I’m a bigot, transphobic, disgusting, uneducated and ohh racist amongst few other things. That’s what you get for speaking up for women in sport.”

Under current International Olympic Committee guidelines, trans women must keep their testosterone levels below a certain amount to be eligible to compete in women’s categories. There are not similar restrictions for trans men competing in male competitions.

As many people pointed out to Ellington, trans athletes have been competing in sport for many years and there are yet to be any trans Olympians.