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20 Oct 2023
Warner Todd Huston

NextImg:USA Cycling Announces Complex Rule Structure that Still Allows Trans Athletes to Compete as Women

In an effort to come closer to compliance with international rules, USA Cycling has launched complicated new rules to “ban” male-born transgender competitors from women’s categories that still end up allowing them to compete as women anyway.

In July, the international cycling organization Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) banned men who “transition” to being women after puberty, preventing them from competing in the women’s category. But rules in the U.S. still allowed trans cyclists to compete in any category they wanted, confusing cyclists hoping to qualify for international events.

Finally, USA Cycling has now addressed the issue, but its solution is complex, Cycling Week reports.

Belgian Marion Norbert Riberolle, Dutch Denise Betsema and American Austin Killips pictured on the podium after the women's elite race of the...

Belgian Marion Norbert Riberolle, Dutch Denise Betsema, and American Austin Killips pictured on the podium after the women’s elite race of the ‘Kasteelcross’ cyclocross cycling event, race 7/8 in the ‘Exact Cross’ competition, Saturday 21 January 2023 in Zonnebeke. (DAVID PINTENS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

One thing USA Cycling did adopt was a ban on post-puberty transitioned cyclists competing as women; in any event, it sponsors along with the UCI. However, for events it sponsors without participation by the international organization, the U.S. group has put in place a policy that still allows male-born cyclists to compete as women.

USA Cycling did institute a non-binary category for any male-to-female, female-to-male, or “nongendered” cyclist to enter. It is highly doubtful that anyone will be interested in entering this category since militant transgenders claim they are not some “other” but are the gender they’ve transitioned to.

But for events that USA Cycling sponsors without the UCI, a new two-tiered system has been devised that still allows men who want to compete as women to do so.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, USA Cycling will offer “Group A” and “Group B” categories “depending on their discipline and race category.”

Group A cyclists are those who compete at the pro level. Trans athletes in the pro category must undergo what is being called an “elite athlete fairness evaluation application,” which will be reviewed by a new medical panel. The cyclist must submit documentation that his testosterone level is consistently below 2.5 nmol/L for at least 24 months. This process must be completed 90 days before the cyclist competes in an event.

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Group B competitors who are not at the pro level will be required to submit a “self-identity verification request,” which will be reviewed by the USA Cycling Technical Director. The director will determine if the “self-identity” is legitimate, and the process must be completed 30 days before competing in any event.

In other words, Group B is still essentially a free-for-all in which male-born cyclists can compete as women with few requirements.

USA Cycling CEO Brendan Quirk claimed that the new Transgender Participation Policy “was a complex process” during which they worked to “prioritize the balance between fairness and inclusion.”

“Our work encompassed a study of the UCI’s most recent review of the latest scientific literature, an assessment of the U.S. legal environment and similar policies from other sports organizations, and outreach to our athletes, club and team managers, and event organizers,” Quirk exclaimed. “As U.S. law and scientific findings evolve, we will use this as an opportunity to do further review and revisions of this policy as needed.

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