USA Cycling to segregate trans athletes in updated policy

USA Cycling

USA Cycling has updated its trans athlete participation policy, segregating trans athletes who wish to compete across domestic races in the US into two new categories. 

The governing body for cycling in the United States has updated its policy, aligning itself with standards set by the world cycling governing body, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

From July this year, all trans women who have transitioned after puberty are banned from competing in the women’s category at UCI-sanctioned events.

Trans athletes competing in USA Cycling events will be categorised as either Group A or Group B athletes, depending on their discipline and race category. 

Group A refers to those wishing to compete domestically in the pro and categories one and two on the road, track and in cyclocross, as well as pro category in mountain bike and all categories across BMX. 

Group B athletes are those wanting to compete domestically in categories three, four, and five and novice in road, track and cyclocross racing, and categories one, two, and three in mountain bike, according to Cycling News. 

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USA Cycling CEO Brendan Quirk said the new policy, which is set to begin from 1 January 2024, was guided by a prioritisation of “the balance between fairness and inclusion”. 

Under UCA Cycling-sanctioned events, the new guidelines stipulate that Group A athletes must complete an “elite athlete fairness evaluation application” for review by an independent medical panel. 

The process requires documentation showing that the athlete’s testosterone level in serum has been below 2.5 nmol/L for at least 24 months. This test must be completed 90 days prior to the first day of the race the athlete wants to participate in. 

Group B athletes must complete a “self identity verification request” for review by the USA Cycling technical director, in order to document their change in gender. This must be completed 30 days prior to the first day of the race the athlete wants to participate in. 

Quirk said: “Our work encompassed a study of the UCI’s most recent review of the latest scientific literature, an assessment of the US legal environment and similar policies from other sports organisations, and outreach to our athletes, club and team managers, and event organisers.

“As US law and scientific findings evolve, we will use this as an opportunity to do further review and revisions of this policy as needed.”

The Union Cycliste Internationale said it’s policy on trans athletes is “based on the latest scientific knowledge” after facing backlash over Austin Killips winning a stage of the Tour of the Gila women’s race, in April.