Martina Navratilova expressed her support for World Athletics as the international governing body for track and field events has banned transgender women from competing against biological women.
Navratilova, who has won 18 Grand Slam tournaments including nine Wimbledon championships, wrote an opinion piece in The Times of UK on Sunday calling World Athletics’ decision a «step in the right direction».
She called for a separate category for transgender athletes.
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«In the wake of the World Athletics announcement, I think the best idea would be to have ‘biological female’ and ‘biological girls’ categories and then an ‘open’ category,» she wrote. «It would be a category for everyone: men who identify as men, women who identify as women, women who identify as men, men who identify as women, non-binary, it would be a mixed bag. This is already being explored in athletics and swimming in Great Britain.
«Biological women are more likely to compete in the biological women’s category as it is their best chance to win and upholds the principle of fairness. With an ‘open’ category there are no question marks, conditions, asterisks or doubts. It is a simple solution.
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«Once someone has gone through male puberty, there’s no way to erase that physical advantage. You can’t just turn back the clock, for example, by trying to lower testosterone levels.»
Navratilova said she hoped the decision would lead other sports to follow suit.
World Athletics’ decision on transgender athletes came out Thursday. The organization said it «decided to prioritize the fairness and integrity of women’s competition over inclusion.»
«Decisions are always difficult when they involve conflicting needs and rights between different groups, but we continue to believe that we must uphold equity for female athletes above all other considerations,» added World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.
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«We will be guided in this by the science around physical performance and the male advantage that will inevitably develop in the coming years. As more evidence becomes available, we will review our position, but we believe the integrity of the women’s category in track and field It’s essential». .»