WBC statement on transgender atheletes

The WBC has issued a statement addressing the issue of transgender athletes in boxing:

World Boxing Council Statement/Guidelines Regarding Transgender Athletes participation in professional Combat Sports

1. The World Boxing Council (WBC) firmly and unequivocally supports transgender rights and recognizes the gender identity of an individual athlete. This commitment is grounded in the WBC values of inclusion.

2. The WBC shall continue to champion to protect transgender individuals against discrimination at their workplace, in employment, education and access to healthcare.

3. The WBC is committed to its value of fair competition. A combat sport bout should occur between two equally matched competitors. At present there is no consensus whether a bout between a transgender woman against a cisgender (biological) woman is a fair bout between two equally matched competitors. Metric such as testosterone level less than 10 nanomoles per liter (achieved by using testosterone suppression medication in the transgender woman), in isolation is inadequate to ensure fairness at the time of the bout. It can be argued that by the time a transgender woman combatant launches her professional career she has already gone through male puberty thus conferring her with the musculature and bony structure of a male. So, a transgender woman combatant may have an unfair advantage over her cisgender woman combatant.

4. The WBC is committed to its value of fair competition. A combat sport bout should occur between two equally matched competitors. At present there is no consensus whether a bout between a transgender man against a cisgender (biological) man is a fair bout between two equally matched competitors. Metric such as testosterone level in isolation is inadequate to ensure fairness at the time of the bout. It can be argued that by the time a transgender man combatant launches his professional career he has already gone through female puberty thus conferring him with the musculature and bony structure of a female. So, a cisgender male combatant may have an unfair advantage over his transgender male combatant.

5. Combat sports such as boxing are unique since every punch thrown at the head is thrown with the intention of winning by causing a knockout (which is nothing but a concussive head injury). Resulting these sports carry an exceedingly high risk for both acute and chronic neurological injuries. Boxers have died during a bout or in the immediate aftermath due to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) such as an acute subdural hematoma (SDH), epidural hematoma (EDH), subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), intracranial hematoma and injury to the great vessels of the neck such as carotid or vertebral artery dissection. The WBC advocates for two equally skilled and matched athletes competing in the cage or ring, on a level playing field and to keep matches fair, competitive, entertaining, and most importantly safe for all combatants. At present level of scientific knowledge, the WBC consensus is that allowing transgender athletes to compete raises serious health and safety concerns.

The WBC will keep researching with the upmost professionals in healthcare to have a greater understanding of the matter and will keep looking for fairness in the sport and equality.

Author: Nitin K Sethi, MD, MBBS, FAAN

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  • Sounds like the WBC recognizes that as much as it wants to support and promote equality they recognize the (at least current) inability to translate that into competitive boxing. People can, and will, argue all day about identity, gender and equality, however, regardless of how one wants to see themselves, or what clothes they like to dress up in, or what pronouns they like to use, the simple fact remains that to put a biological man in the ring with a biological woman is the opposite of equality, fairness, and safety.

    • In the supermarket, we label them as organic and inorganic….Maybe we should treat sports like we treat veggies and meat at the market we should have Organic and inorganic sports. The organic should never mix with the inorganic, they are not the same regardless of how many pills and chemicals you pump into someone’s body.

  • I don’t know where I fall on this because I’ve always heard that, with the amount of medication that they take, it puts them at a disadvantage at least in terms of testosterone which is mentioned here. And I also recall seeing an mma match where the transgender fighter got absolutely ragdolled by a cisgendered female whenever she got her hands on her. Of course boxing is different because there is no grappling and, until we figure out otherwise, I think this is a good decision.

    • Transwomen may or may not take estrogen to suppress testosteron which would mean less testosterone than most men but still more than any woman.

      As the WBC statement points out, testosterone suppression alone is not enough if the athlete has gone through male puberty.

      There was an MMA match where the transwoman broke a woman’s skull. Not exactly what anyone wants to see in a fight.

      Overall, this is not rocket science. Anyone who has ever watched sports knows there is a difference between the sexes. Denying that or downplaying it for the sake of inclusion helps no one.

      WBC has done the right thing here.

      • Fallon Fox was the one who broke her opponent’s skull. She was also the loser in the fight I mentioned.

        • What I don’t understand is when people try to argue that just because a biological woman beats a transgender woman in a fight that it proves that testosterone blockers levels the playing field and makes that bout “fair”. There are plenty of biological women that could kick my a$$ even without me using testosterone blockers, but that doesn’t mean it is fair for me to compete against them.

    • Tastefully explained.

      Pretty stuck in my view because I’ve seen women destroyed in their own sports.

  • Oh joy. Looks like we’re headed towards new trans boxing divisions, since trans can’t fight men or women. Can’t wait.

    • With the seventeen divisions that will be created there will be enough for every trans to be a champion.

  • The article refers to cisgender and transgender women. What about women who don’t believe in ‘gender identity’, who just believe in biological sex, and are hence just women, neither cis nor trans?

  • Trans rights in boxing now. I have a friend who used to hate women – now he’s turned into a woman he wants to fight them in mma boxing or any fight sport. Love is love – she deserves a chance to bash women in a controlled environment. You know it makes sense…

  • I remember a runner years back by the name of Caster Semenya who competed in women’s races. Questions about her gender came up from some of her competitors, because it was really hard to tell if this individual was male or female due to her musculature and deep voice. She was forced to take a Gender Verification Test, and I remember hearing that she turned out to be a hermaphrodite……or “had “intersex trait” according to Wiki, and was banned from competing, which led to a couple of lawsuits.

    I wonder if that Gender Verification Test is ever used in boxing? I’d hate to name names (Cris Cyborg), but every once in a while someone comes along in the sport and it’s really difficult to tell what gender the person is. I personally believe that test should absolutely be utilized, but I wonder about the legal ramifications. In Caster’s case, according to wiki, she retained the law firm “”to make certain that her civil and legal rights and dignity as a person are fully protected”. My response to her/him would have been “tough shyt”, but who knows how that might play out in court…

    • We are talking about biological sex here. CS is a male with disorder of sex development. Has testes. It’s a very rare contidion.

      As a male, CS is NOT eligible in female sports.

      Just like any other males, especially those with completly TYPICAL built and development who just think they are women.

      Females are NOT dress code. We are not a feeling. We are now weaker males. We are not males who like to wear women clothes.

    • Caster Semenya was unbeatable over 800 metres. 2 time Olympic champion. Not sure she was ever beaten over the distance as an adult.

      However the athletics head honchos (IAAF) stepped in and said she is only allowed to compete in events of 100 metres-200 metres and 3,000 metres or more unless she takes testosterone lowering medication.

      Now she is competing in longer distance events and getting thrashed.

      IAAF decision has been proven correct. Fairness for all.

  • Indoor plumbing your a woman, outdoor plumbing your a man. Elementary my dear Watson.

    • Another guy, like Mike Tyson, can say he is also feeling a little feminine and beat the hell out of one of those guys who want to compete against women. You think you’re a woman. So does this guy. Good luck

  • Please refer to adult born females as women as women, we are not CIS, nor are men.

    Other than that great news, men Do not belong in women’s sports.

  • Transgender definition in itself is an oxymoron. It’s not a real thing, but if some chaz bono type wants to get their face bashed in by a guy I’m all for it. The other way though, that’s not fair. I always felt bad for that sprinter, they were born that way. That’s a really messed up situation. You want to be fair to them but also to the women that weren’t born without testicles. Man now that’s a conundrum.

  • Invented words and fake science.
    Transgender, fake word for genitalia mutilated
    Abortion; fake word for killing babies
    Global warming; fake term for totalitarian tyranny

  • The fact this conversation is even happening is absurd!
    If your born with a dick, you can never fight a chick.

  • Let them fight each other to be a fair fight! Transgender male vs transgender male or a straight dude and transgender woman vs transgender woman or straight woman!

  • Seems simple to me. Doctor examines athlete – if penis present then male competition. Female competition if the athlete has a vagina. Seems simple and foolproof!

  • transgender man should never fight women.. its not fair, there is to much of a physical difference..

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