Skip to comments.AP: Olympics OK's Transsexual's particpation
Posted on 11/13/2003 4:49:41 PM PST by jmcclain19
Winds of change: Olympics open to transsexuals
LONDON (AP) Athletes who have undergone sex change operations will be eligible to compete in the Olympics for the first time under new rules being finalized by the IOC.
The International Olympic Committee convened a meeting in Sweden last month of medical experts in the field and will announce its policy in the next few weeks. "We will have no discrimination," IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch told The Associated Press on Thursday. "The IOC will respect human rights."
Details are still being worked out, but Schamasch said transsexual athletes will be eligible for the Olympics once they have passed a certain amount of time after sex-change surgery.
"The trend is to have an ineligibility period," he said. "Then after certain conditions have been fulfilled, the athlete will be able to compete in his or her new sex."
The exact length of the waiting period hasn't been determined. Schamasch said officials want to make sure that any side effects of hormone therapy have worn off.
Schamasch said he didn't know whether there were any potential transsexual athletes in line to compete in next summer's Athens Olympics, but noted that several international sports federations have asked the IOC for guidance.
"We need to be proactive," he said.
The rule covers both male-to-female and female-to-male cases.
Some contend transsexual athletes have a physical advantage against other women. Men have higher levels of testosterone and greater muscle-to-fat ratio and heart and lung capacity. However, doctors say, testosterone levels and muscle mass drop after hormone therapy and sex-change surgery.
Until 1999, the IOC conducted gender verification tests at the Olympics but the controversial screenings were dropped before the 2000 Sydney Games.
One reason for the change was that not all women have standard female chromosomes. In addition, there are cases of people who have ambiguous genitalia or other congenital conditions.
Over the decades, there have been various accusations of men impersonating women and competing in the Olympics.
"The eligibility of transsexuals to participate needs to be clarified and dealt with," Arne Ljungqvist, the IOC medical commission chairman who organized the meeting of experts in Stockholm.
One of the best-known cases of transsexuals in sports involves Renee Richards, formerly Richard Raskin, who played on the women's tennis tour in the 1970s.
Recently, Canada's Michelle Dumaresq made news competing as a mountain bike racer. Formerly Michael, Dumaresq had sex reassignment surgery in 1996 and competed for Canada at last year's World Championships in Austria. She finished 24th in the downhill discipline.
"I'm in contact with several other athletes with a trans history and some could qualify for the next Olympics," she said in an e-mail message.
Dumaresq still has a license to race. While mountain biking is an Olympic event, her discipline is not.
The trend? And whos trend is this? Where do they get this stuff?
They'll have a lot of nude wrestling.
"The trend is to have an ineligibility period,"
I certainly dont see any advantage that male to female transexuals would have - after male to females lose their testosterone, their fat and muscles change dratically, and they lose all their upper body strength. The real advantage anyone has in the olympics are regular males or females who take steroids to build muscle mass.
I know a couple of transexuals, and they did not do what they did for the fun of it, if you knew what physical pain they went thru from both electrolysis and the slicing and dicing up of their genitals, you wouldnt make fun of them.
I think there are more than enough truely evil people in this world for us to direct our hate and discrimination towards instead.
Women and men need to compete in everything together then. Guys with or without their parts are going to have an advantage in strength.
Sometimes you can think of nothing to say but, "Isn't that awful?" Your comment evoked such a moment. Thank you for ruining my childhood, you evil, evil person. =)
This is crazy. Mutilated men in women's sports? Sex cannot be changed.
What a strange news day.
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