The decision of the World Athletics Council to ban men from participating in women’s international track and field events has been criticized by a French transgender sprinter, who claimed that this ruling would prevent “her” from competing in the Olympics.
Halba Diouf, who was born male but identifies as a female Muslim, took issue with the international body’s ruling that went into effect on March 31, 2023.
“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,” said Sebastian Coe, the council’s president.
Diouf, of course, disagreed with the council’s decision.
“Even if we are a minority, we deserve to live freely, to lead a free life, deserve to take part in competitions and to compete in our category, and we are being refused that,” Diouf said during an interview with Reuters.
“The only safeguard transgender women have is their right to live as they wish, and we are being refused that,” Diouf continued. “For me it’s persecution. I don’t quite understand.”
“I cannot understand this decision, as transgender women have always been allowed to compete if their testosterone levels were below a certain threshold,” Diouf added.
Diouf’s endocrinologist supported the transgender athlete’s claims and said that the 21-year-old’s blood samples showed that Diouf is “a woman, from a physiological, hormonal, and legal point of view.”
“Her testosterone levels are currently below those found on average in women who were born as women,” the specialist cited.
Diouf changed his legal gender after undergoing hormone therapy in 2021, which was recognized by French authorities.
In early May 2023, Diouf controversially competed in and won the women’s 200-meter race in Nice, France.
Share your thoughts by scrolling down to leave a comment.