Transgender cyclist Austin Killips’ victory in the Gila Tour has sparked some criticism among several of her fellow cyclists and the UCI has decided to pick up the gauntlet to reopen the debate on the participation of these riders in women’s competitions. The highest regulatory body has announced that it will make a decision in August.

Much has been made of transgender people in sport. A debate that is divided between those who defend the right for athletes to compete in the category with which they feel identified and those who believe that this gives them an advantage over their rivals. And of course there are also those who fall somewhere in between. It is clear that it is a complicated issue in which any decision will leave someone unhappy.

The UCI admits to having listened to the “concerns” of some riders, assumes its role and gets down to business to discuss how transgender cyclists should compete.

Less than a year ago, the UCI already modified the criteria under which they could take part in women’s competitions. At that point he tightened the rules and set the bar at a maximum plasma testosterone level of 2.5 nmol/L over a 24-month period.

However, other international federations have been much more restrictive; This is the case of athletics, swimming and rugby, which prohibited transgender women from participating in the female categories.

The news has now returned to the fore in the wake of Austin Killips’ Tour de Gila victory, with which she became the first transgender cyclist to win a UCI women’s stage race. The American runner has been involved in a controversy sparked in part by some professional cyclists.

In this way, Inga Thompson declared that this was going to “end women’s cycling”. For her part, Alison Sydor noted that “functionally it is no different from doping.” For her part, Killips said after the victory that “I am especially grateful to the entire peloton and the sport that continue to affirm that Twitter is not real life. I love my teammates and competitors and I am grateful for every opportunity I have to learn and grow. as a person and an athlete.

The intention of the UCI is to make a decision next August at its next meeting, in Glasgow. Before, it will reopen the consultation with both the athletes and the National Federations.

The UCI stated that “the objective remains the same: to take into account, in the context of the evolution of our society, the desire of transgender athletes to practice cycling.”

In addition, he added that “the UCI also listens to the voices of female athletes and their concerns about a level playing field for competitors, and will take into account all elements, including the evolution of scientific knowledge.”