Last month, a male athlete who had undergone medical and hormone treatments and who now identifies as female won the national title in the women’s 400-meter hurdles event at the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
CeCe Telfer won in 57.53 seconds; the runner-up finished over a full second behind at 59.21 seconds.
Immediately, a furor began over whether it was fair for Telfer to compete with biological women.
Telfer, whose name at birth was Craig, was a fair (to be very generous) performer in the male competitions.
Telfer “never came close to making it to nationals in the men’s category,” Robert Johnson wrote for LetsRun.
“In 2016 and 2017, Telfer ranked 200th and 390th, respectively, among DII men in the 400 hurdles (Telfer didn’t run outdoor track in 2018 as either a man or woman),” Johnson wrote.
“Telfer ran slightly faster in the 400 hurdles competing as a man (57.34) than as a woman (57.53), even though the men’s hurdles are six inches taller than the women’s hurdles. Yet when Telfer ran 57.34 as a man, she didn’t even score at her conference meet — she was just 10th at the Northeast-10 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2016.”
Now, Telfer is a 2019 national champion.
But despite the hard data to prove otherwise, Telfer claims he is actually the one at a disadvantage.
Telfer told ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” in an interview that aired Thursday that he doesn’t think the biologically female competitors running against him face an unfair disadvantage.
“If anything, me competing against cisgender females is a disadvantage..”@FPUathletics track star CeCe Telfer talks about the physical challenges she faces while competing as a transgender woman. pic.twitter.com/9VhlOVA70V
— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) June 13, 2019
“If anything, me competing against cisgender females is a disadvantage,” Telfer said.
“My body is going through so many odd medical implications, like it’s going through biochemistry changes. So being on hormone replacement therapy … your muscle depletion, your muscle is deteriorating, you lose a lot of strength because testosterone is where you get your strength, your agility, all that athletic stuff.”
“So I have to work twice as hard to keep that strength. And if I slack a day that’s like three days set behind,” Telfer added.
“I can’t eat unhealthy, or else it’s going to impact me harder,” Telfer concluded.
According to TheBlaze, “The NCAA has had a policy for transgender athletes for years. It is legal under NCAA bylaws for a biological male to compete in the women’s division if that male has suppressed his testosterone levels for one year.”
“A guidance document on the issue published by the NCAA took the stance that it is not accurate to assume that a male who has transitioned to become a transgender female has an unfair advantage over a biological woman, saying ‘it is important not to overgeneralize,'” The Blaze explained.
The issue of transgender athletes is one that will no doubt continue to be debated in the days to come.
The House of Representatives recently passed the Equality Act, which forces schools to allow male athletes who identify as women to compete on female teams, as The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
Not one Democrat voted against the bill.
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