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Olympics-IOC backs transgender weightlifter’s choice for Tokyo, says to evaluate guidelines later

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Worldwide Olympic Committee on Saturday backed New Zealand’s choice of transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard for the Tokyo Olympics regardless of criticism, saying that beneath the present guidelines – which might be reviewed in future – she will compete.

Hubbard is ready to grow to be the primary transgender athlete to compete on the Video games after she was chosen for the New Zealand workforce within the ladies’s super-heavyweight 87+kg class.

The 43-year-old’s inclusion has been divisive, along with her supporters welcoming the choice whereas critics have questioned the equity of transgender athletes competing in opposition to ladies.

“The foundations for qualification have been established by the Worldwide Weightlifting Federation earlier than the {qualifications} began,” stated IOC President Thomas Bach. “These guidelines apply, and you can’t change guidelines throughout ongoing competitions.”

Bach stated the foundations could be reviewed with all stakeholders concerned to be able to set new pointers sooner or later.

“On the similar time the IOC is in an inquiry part with all totally different stakeholders… to evaluate these guidelines and at last to provide you with some pointers which can’t be guidelines as a result of this can be a query the place there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all answer,” he instructed a information convention. “It differs from sport to sport.”

The IOC had cleared the best way in 2015 for transgender athletes to compete on the Video games as ladies, supplied their testosterone ranges are beneath 10 nanomoles per litre for a minimum of 12 months earlier than their first competitors.

Some scientists have stated the rules do little to mitigate the organic benefits of those that have gone via puberty as males, akin to bone and muscle density.

Supporters of transgender inclusion argue the method of transition decreases that benefit significantly and that bodily variations between athletes imply there’s by no means a very stage taking part in discipline in sport.

Requested repeatedly if he supported Hubbard competing in Tokyo, Bach stated the athlete’s choice was based mostly on particular guidelines.

“The foundations are in place and the foundations need to be utilized and you can’t change the foundations throughout an ongoing qualification system,” he stated. “That is what all of the athletes of the world are counting on: that the foundations are being utilized.”

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Modifying by Hugh Lawson)

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