*IPC President asks individual sports to decide transgender policy*
The international paralympic committee president Andrew Parsons, has informed that international sport governing Bodies to decide and set their own transgender policies for athletes. This happened last week after Valentina Petrillo became the first openly transgender athlete to win a medal at the global para-athletics event.
The Italian athlete who’s 49yrs old was born with a visual impairment,born male but transitioned in 2019. She came third and won a bronze in the T12 400m at the para athletics world championships in Paris last Thursday and also set a 200m personal Best during sunday’s heats. According the World Para Athletics’ rules, a person who is legally recognized as a woman is eligible to compete in the category their impairment qualifies them for.
The IPC president stated that IPC does not consider ruling across all Paralympics sports. He told the BBC sport that “The definition of who is eligible to compete in a female event or not is up to each international governing body”. He added that “ From an IPC perspective, we allowed individual sports to make their own rules in terms of transgender. So those rules can be different from sport to sport.
“Some are coming with different positions on transgender or with the criteria to allow them or not to allow them, so I’m not surprised by the repercussions of it”.
Most of the governing Body are independent but some like Para sports such as cycling and Rowling are run by the same governing body.
The UCI, world cycling’s governing body ruled that “Transgender women could not compete in female events”. The UCI allowed anyone who transitioned after male puberty could compete in a men/open category.
Amidst the criticism that follows the participation of Petrillo in Paris, Parsons said the IPC are full aware the issue of transgender athletes taking part in top level Para sport would arise in no time.
He said “ We always knew it was not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. However we are monitoring what is happening in the World of sport in general and new research because this is the reality of sport these days. Science needs to be the guiding principle. The transgender population is growing and they’re here to stay. We have to make sure we give the sporting opportunities but also protect female athletes.”