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United Kingdom: Review of Transgender Inclusion in Sport

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

A wide-ranging review of transgender inclusion in non-elite sport in the UK has found that the current policies are not fit for purpose.

The full review may be accessed by logging onto ‘https://equalityinsport.org/resources/index.html’ and clicking on the link ‘Guidance for Transgender Inclusion in Domestic Sport 2021’.

Carried out by the Sports Councils Equality Group (SCEG) and following an eighteen-months’ consultation, the review shows that:

For many sports, the inclusion of transgender people, fairness and safety cannot co-exist in a single competitive model.”

The SCEG review does not apply to elite, professional or international sport.

In fact, up-dated guidance from the International Olympic Committee, which last reported in 2015, has been delayed.

Transgender Laurel Hubbard, having been born a male, made Olympic history by competing in the women’s +87kg weightlifting event in the delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics this year.

In October 2020, World Rugby ruled that transgender women may not compete at the elite and international levels of the women’s game “on safety grounds.”

The review found that:

While our consultation found that there was widespread support for ensuring that sport was a welcoming place for everyone in society, including for transgender people, it also highlighted that there were concerns relating to safety and fairness in relation to transgender inclusion, particularly in female sport, and that there was no consensus on a single solution as to how this should be addressed.”

However, the SCEG review states that transgender inclusion in sport could be improved by adding new categories of ‘open’ and ‘universal’ to the existing male and female ones.

We will see!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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The editors of  the Journal Sports Law & Taxation are Professor Ian Blackshaw and Dr Rijkele Betten, with specialist contributions from the world's leading practitioners and academics in the sports law and taxation fields.

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Prof. Dr. Ian S. Blackshaw

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Maisto e Associati, Milano

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