This is just the beginning, as others sports review their eligibility criteria based on contested science: much may have to be settled in court
A new policy barring most trans women from elite swimming has sent shockwaves through sport this week. Within a day, the International Rugby League announced that it would be barring trans women from international competition, and football’s governing body, Fifa, stated that it would be also be reviewing its gender eligibility regulations.
Those who support the inclusion of trans athletes are in despair, and those who say they should be excluded are jubilant. But as a discrimination barrister, I know these policies don’t appear in a vacuum. Are they compliant with UK law? And could they be vulnerable to legal challenge? Both questions are key – especially when considering whether other sports will follow suit.
Robin Moira White is a discrimination barrister at Old Square Chambers, London, and joint author of A Practical Guide to Transgender Law