The Olympics only guidelines are that male to female hormone therapy is a must but doesn’t comply for female to male.
Medical chiefs at the International Olympic Committee say that changes in these rules can see athletes partaking in Olympic events as soon as this year on the new rules.
Those athletes that have already transitioned from male to female must however declare their gender identity as female. In the twelve months before competing they must also show that their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomols per litre. The levels of testosterone must remain below this whilst competing and testing could be carried out on a regular basis. The head of the IOC said ‘”it is necessary to ensure in so far as possible that trans athletes are not excluded from the opportunity to participate in sporting competition, while still ensuring the guarantee of fair competition.”
The attention around Bruce Jenner and his coming out as a woman this past year has shined a different light on transgender people in the Olympics. Jenner is known as the decathlon champion of 1976. Jenner announced that he had undergone cosmetic surgery but has not undergone gender reassignment surgery. He is now a living as the woman known as Caitlyn Jenner.
In a report made by the Associated Press Dr. Richard Budgett who is the medical director of the IOC said in a statement “This is a scientific consensus paper not a rule or regulation. It is the advice of the medical and scientific commission and what we think is the best advice “.
“I don´t think many federations have rules on defining eligibility of transgender individuals. This should give them the confidence and stimulus to put these rules into place”.
The previous rules had stated that apart from reassignment surgery, athletes were required to have up to two years of hormone treatment.
Joanna Harper is chief medical physicist of radiation oncology at the Providence Portland Medical Center. She is the first transgender to sit on the IOC committee and partake in creating the new Olympic rules for transgender athletes. Harper is the first to do a research paper based on the performances of transgender athletes. There is a big debate as to whether transgender female athletes have an inherent advantage over their 46,xx female competitors. The research paper is called Sporting Cultures and Identities.
The new guidelines have paved the way for many transgender athletes including American Chris Mosier who qualified for the World Duathlon Championships.