Mar 23, 2023, 1:55pm EDT

World Athletics bars transgender women from female competitions

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe pictured trackside.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel/File Photo

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The News

The World Athletics Council, the international governing body for track and field and other running sports, announced Thursday that it is banning transgender women from competing in female competitions at international events.

"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," President Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

The organization puts on the World Athletics Championships, which are considered the highest level of competition for the sport alongside the Olympic Games.

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World Athletics said that there are currently no transgender athletes competing in the sport internationally, and no specific evidence on the impact such athletes would have.

The council said it was prioritizing "fairness and the integrity of the female competition before inclusion."

The group is setting up a yearlong working group to continue discussion of the issue.

The organization also set new regulations limiting testosterone levels for athletes to compete in the female category.