World Athletics has banned transgender women from participating in women’s sports at the Summer 2024 Paris Olympics to “protect the female category.”
That means all the work French native Halba Diouf has done is all for naught.
Diouf, born a male, had been looking forward to running for her home country in France, training for the 200-meter race.
The sprinter began treatment to transition as an adult, and French authorities recognized her change in 2021. However, it means nothing for next summer’s games.
Diouf sounded off on the WA’s decision, according to Reuters, citing previous rules and regulations that said trans women and athletes with differences in sex development (DSD) could run in events between 400 meters and the mile if their levels of natural plasma testosterone is below five nanomoles per liter. And 100-meter and 200-meter sprinters were clear to race
“I cannot understand this decision as transgender women have always been allowed to compete if their testosterone levels were below a certain threshold,” Diouf told Reuters. “The only safeguard transgender women have is their right to live as they wish, and we are being refused that, we are being hounded. … I feel marginalized because they are excluding me from competitions.”
Despite Diouf’s plea, World Athletics has no regrets about its decision, saying it was made to keep competition fair.
“Decisions are always difficult when they involve conflicting needs and rights between different groups, but we continue to take the view that we must maintain fairness for female athletes above all other considerations,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said when the decision was made.
In March, World Athletics cut the maximum plasma testosterone levels for the long-distance runs in half, and the level must be maintained for two years before athletes with DSD could participate.
The Paris Games kick off on July 26, 2024.