Archibald blasts governing bodies 'letting down transgender athletes'

Archibald blasts governing bodies 'letting down transgender athletes'

April 20, 2022

Olympic cycling gold medallist Katie Archibald blasts international governing bodies for ‘letting down transgender athletes’ as she calls for a separate category for those to compete in after Emily Bridges’ drawn-out and ‘unfair’ saga

  • Olympic champion Katie Archibald has spoken about cycling’s stance on transgender athletes 
  • Emily Bridges had hoped to compete at the National Omnium Championships 
  • Bridges, who is a former national junior men’s champion, had been cleared to compete by British Cycling 
  • However, cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, overruled as they convene an expert panel to review Bridges’ case moving forward
  • Archibald slammed the UCI for affecting trans and female athletes with delays

Double Olympic champion Katie Archibald has become the first current Great Britain cyclist to voice concerns over transgender riders competing in future women’s events.

British Cycling suspended their current transgender policy in the wake of the controversy surrounding Emily Bridges, who was due to ride in the National Omnium Championships earlier this month after reducing her testosterone levels before being blocked.

Archibald, who won gold in the team pursuit at Rio 2016 and madison at Tokyo 2020, expressed sympathy for the scrutiny Bridges has come under, blaming cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, for choosing to ‘delay action until it became sadly personal for one rider’.

But the 28-year-old believes the International Olympic Committee, the UCI and British Cycling must come up with new guidelines that ensure ‘fairness’ for females.

Speaking ahead of the Track Nations Cup in Glasgow this weekend, Archibald said: ‘I feel let down by these policies. I feel let down by the International Olympic Committee who tell me there should be no assumed advantage for an athlete with a gender identity different to their sex.

Katie Archibald has hit out at ‘international governing bodies of several sports letting down transgender athletes’ in light of the public decision made about Emily Bridges this month

British transgender rider Bridges (pictured) was denied the opportunity to race at the National Omnium Championships earlier this month

Emily Bridges (pictured in 2018) was blocked from competing in domestic events following the decision by British Cycling to suspend their trans policy pending a full review

‘The retained advantage of people who have gone through male puberty in strength, stamina, and physique, with or without testosterone suppression, has been well documented.

‘Cycling’s global governing body, by its president’s own admission, knows this. But they chose to delay action until it became sadly personal for one rider. That wasn’t fair.

‘We can’t continue in this way. I’d like the work to start now. I’d like the national and global sports bodies to work with the wider scientific community when developing their policies.

‘I’d like us all to continue welcoming trans athletes into our clubs, our training sessions, and our races. But I’d like us to do all this without sacrificing one of the foundational pillars of sport: fairness.’

Bridges pictured when riding previously as a male during the 2018 Junior Tour of Wales

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