The Australian Weightlifting Federation tried to stop a transgender athlete from competing in Australia’s 2018 Commonwealth Games, but the ruling body promptly shut down the attempt, stating there are no legitimate reasons why the biologically male weightlifter shouldn’t be allowed to compete against women.
The Commonwealth Games Federation rejected the Australian Weightlifting Federation’s request to ban New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard from the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“The gender eligibility criteria currently applied by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) does not constructively discriminate against transgender athletes and as a consequence there is no moral, ethical or legal basis to prevent transgender athletes from pursuing their sporting ambitions and competing in IWF-sanctioned events,” a CGF spokesperson said Monday, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Laurel has met all the requirements they’ve asked which includes a monthly testosterone test,” Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand President Garry Marshall also said.
“And her testosterone levels are lower than a normal female.”
The Monday statement, indicating that both biological males and females can compete against one another if they meet acceptable testosterone levels, comes after the AWF’s CEO Mike Keelan asked the IWF to keep Hubbard from competing because he has a physical advantage over “female- born” athletes, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
“In our respectful view, the current criteria and its application has the potential to devalue women’s weightlifting and discourage female-born athletes from pursuing the sport at an elite level in the future,” Keelan said.
“We’re in a power sport which is normally related to masculine tendencies … where you’ve got that aggression, you’ve got the right hormones, then you can lift bigger weights,” Keelan also said.
“If you’ve been a male and you’ve lifted certain weights, then you suddenly transition to a female, psychologically you know you’ve lifted those weights before.”
Hubbard previously competed as a man in national weightlifting competitions, but began identifying as a female four years ago.
He won two silvers at the World Weightlifting Championships in December.
He also competed as a woman at the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand, in April.
He also became the first transgender person to represent New Zealand in a weightlifting competition at the 2017 Australasian Championships in March, where Hubbard won gold.
The weightlifter doesn’t think there’s a difference between himself and any other biological female.
“I don’t believe there is any fundamental difference between me and the other athletes, and to suggest there is is slightly demeaning to them,” Hubbard said, according to Newshub.
A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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