Sport

Trans cyclist forced to defend herself after winning race fair and square: ‘I followed the rules’

Amelia Hansford May 29, 2022
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the 14th Ceratizit Festival in Steinfort, Luxembourg. (Photo by Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

Trans cyclist Maxine Yates is under investigation by British Cycling, despite winning her race fair and square, after complaints were lodged by fellow racers.

Yates won the women’s 19-plus category in British Cycling’s downhill national series  in Fort William earlier this month, competing in the so-called “expert” category, which is slightly below elite level.

It comes after British Cycling suspended trans and non-binary cyclists from competing in elite races in April while conducting a “full review” of its trans-inclusion policy.

“As I already had a licence and was not competing at an elite level, I was allowed to compete,” Maxine Yates told The Times. “It’s what British Cycling told me.

I’ve taken their advice at every turn and I’m disappointed that British Cycling has left this go on as far as it has. I have followed their rules.”

Cyclist Jane Page, who came in second place behind Yates in the race in question, was among those who complained to British Cycling, accusing the governing body of “failing to implement its own rules”.

British Cycling said on 8 April it had suspended its trans and non-binary participation policy due to a differences in licensing policies held between the UK governing body and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – the sport’s world governing body.

It came after a decision to allow trans cyclist Emily Bridges to compete at elite level was met with alleged backlash from cisgender cyclists, who claimed anonymously they were scared “of being cancelled like JK Rowling”. Apparently.

British Cycling then pulled a sharp U-turn and blocked Bridges, who came out publicly as trans in October 2020, from competing in the British National Omnium Championships on 2 April. It would have been her first women’s race after competing against men throughout 2021.

Bridges had met British Cycling’s trans and non-binary eligibility policy, which stipulates that trans cyclists must meet a certain testosterone level for at least 12 months before they can compete in a female race category.

More: british cycling, trans athletes

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