The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has modified guidelines for transgender and intersex athletes.
The Framework on Fairness, Inclusion, and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations establishes a 10-point framework that would allow transgender and intersex athletes to compete in sporting competitions of their preferred gender identity, without having to undergo unnecessary medical treatments and procedures.
The framework was created, “as part of the IOC’s commitment to respecting human rights … and as part of the action taken to foster gender equality and inclusion,” the document states.
Among the principles outlined, athletes will be allowed to compete in competitions in accordance with their gender identity so long as they do not have “an unfair and disproportionate competitive advantage.” Such an advantage will be determined by data-based evidence “collected from a demographic group that is consistent in gender and athletic engagement with the group that the eligibility criteria aim to regulate.”
The document further stipulates that no athlete should be presumed to have an unfair advantage without this evidence, nor should they be forced to undergo invasive procedures, such as gynecological examinations.
NBC Out reports that the new guidelines — which are not “legally binding” — replace those established in 2015, which had limited athletes from participating based on testosterone levels, and which had required them to undergo medical procedures to regulate said levels.
The Tokyo Games, held this past summer, were the first that allowed openly transgender and intersex athletes to compete, including New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard and Canadian soccer player Quinn.