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Transgender Athletes & Participation Exploring Gender, Fairness & Inclusion in Sport


Jun 24 2022 to Jun 24 2022 5 p.m.



Bangalore International Centre

7 4th Main Rd, Stage 2, Domlur 560071

Event Description

In November 2021, following a two-year consultation process, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) released its Framework on ‘Fairness, Inclusion, and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations’. The Framework sought to provide guidance to Sport Governing Bodies (SGBs) to decide the eligibility of transwomen to participate in sports. IOC left it to individual SGBs to determine the existence of ‘disproportionate advantage’ (if any) for transgender athletes and accordingly decide the eligibility rules for a particular sport. The Framework was a departure from previous IOC guidance that had stipulated testosterone requirements for allowing transwomen to participate in female sports. The updated Framework was widely seen as promoting inclusion over other concerns such as safety and fairness. Tokyo 2020 was the first Olympic games to witness participation from multiple transgender athletes. Various SGBs have attempted to review their transgender policies in line with the IOC Framework. In particular, the policies in swimming, cycling, and rugby have come under the scanner in recent months. SGBs and athletes have called upon the IOC to provide a stronger and more detailed framework. As sport wrestles with balancing fairness, inclusion, and safety, this discussion will throw light on the present status of medical research on ‘disproportionate advantage’, the usefulness of the IOC framework, the various alternatives before SGBs, and the ethics and the human rights implications of different approaches. In this session we will explore the debate surrounding the participation of transgender athletes, especially in women’s sport, and the issues that arise at the intersection of gender identity, fairness and inclusion in sport. In collaboration with The Sports Law & Policy Centre, Bengaluru The Sports Law and Policy Centre, Bengaluru (SLPC) (www.sportslaw.in) is an independent non-profit think-tank focused on interdisciplinary research, scholarship, education and institutional support for public and private enterprises in areas relating to the legal, policy and ethical issues affecting amateur and professional sports in India. SLPC invites legal and sports policy experts, athletes, administrators, academics, sports marketers and journalists to discuss contemporary sports law, policy and society issues. Content from our sessions and initiatives can be accessed here – The Sports Law & Policy Centre, Bengaluru – YouTube. SLPC is housed at the Sports and Society Accelerator (Sports and Society Accelerator | Building India’s Sports Stack (sports-society.org)).

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