Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges banned from national omnium championship | Cycling News – NewsRaiser

The UCI has stated that Emily Bridges is not eligible to compete this weekend.

British Cycling has said transgender cyclist Emily Bridges is ineligible to compete in Saturday’s national omnium championship.

Bridges was scheduled to compete in her first women’s competition in the Derby, facing five-time Olympian Dame Laura Kenny.

However, British Cycling said it was told by the UCI, cycling’s governing body, that it did not qualify under its current regulations.

“We have had close discussions with the UCI regarding Emily’s participation this weekend and have also been working closely with Emily and her family regarding her transition and participation in elite competition,” British Cycling said in a statement.

“We acknowledge the decision of the UCI regarding Emily’s participation, but we fully acknowledge her disappointment with today’s decision.

“Transgender and non-binary inclusion is more important than race and being an athlete is a challenge for all elite sports. We believe that all participants in our sport deserve more clarity and understanding regarding participation in elite competitions, and we will continue to work with the UCI on both Emily’s case and the broader situation on this matter. »

Bridges was scheduled to face five-time Olympian cyclist Laura Kenny on Saturday.

Bridges was scheduled to face five-time Olympian cyclist Laura Kenny on Saturday.

British Cycling has also called on the coalition to share, learn and better understand how fairness can be achieved in elite sport while maintaining the dignity and respect of all athletes.

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed tremendous advances in science and testing in the field of elite sports, a broader science and understanding of human biology, advances in the protection afforded by law, and, above all, greater respect for the psychological and social problems of those who is transgender and non-binary. This is a complex area, and by coming together we can share resources and ideas.

“We know that some of these conversations are taking place in specific places in the sports world, but we want to call on all sports governing bodies, athletes, the transgender and non-binary athlete community, government and beyond to come together and find a better answer. .

“In all sports, we still have a long way to go before we can draw long-term conclusions. »

Laura Kenny pictured during the Omnium Women's Scratch Race Round 1 of 4 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Laura Kenny pictured during the Omnium Women’s Scratch Race Round 1 of 4 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

British Cycling updated its transgender rules this year, requiring riders to have testosterone levels below five nanomoles per liter for the 12 months leading up to a race.

While completing hormone therapy for her gender dysphoria, Bridges continued to compete in men’s competition, winning the men’s points race at the British Universities Championships in Glasgow.

In an interview with weekly cycling Earlier this month, Bridges opened up about her goal of competing in women’s competition.

“That was always the plan,” Bridges said.

“After I started hormonal therapy, I didn’t want to race in the men’s category any more than I should have — obviously it sucks to be left out, to race like a man when you’re not. It soon became apparent that this was not the right category for me.

“In the summer of 2020, I fell in love with this sport. I couldn’t live like this anymore – I couldn’t be myself anymore. »

Coming Out: Emily Bridges’ Transgender Journey

Emily Bridges first appeared in an interview with Sky Sports in October 2020 in which she spoke about her journey as an elite cyclist.

Speaking about her hopes for the future, she said: “There are so many opportunities to make sports, especially cycling, more inclusive. We need to encourage more people from BAME, more women, people with disabilities and LGBTQ+ people to ride a bike. It is still viewed as the domain of middle-aged and middle-class white men, and should better represent the wider population and be more accessible.

“I hope I can help change culture for the better and inspire people in the sporting world to be themselves. I also want to show that people don’t have to choose between being themselves and playing their favorite sport. Sport should be for everyone, whoever they are.

“I know people will have questions about fairness. I feel that I have the opportunity to show that the current eligibility rules for competitive trans athletes are appropriate.

“Whatever my level, I have such a passion for the sport that I love. Ultimately, I want to try to be the best athlete and person I can be.

“For those who know me, I am still the same person. The difference is that now I’m more true to myself. I hope my coming out story helps someone else to be true. »

You can read the full story of Emily Coming Out here:

Emily Bridges: Being transgender in cycling is an important step in my journey | Cycling news | sky sports

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