Athletes Erupt On USA Boxing’s New Transgender Policy

( – USA Boxing has recently incorporated updates to its rulebook regarding transgender athletes which has created some controversy and concern within the boxing community. This policy, initiated in 2022 but only integrated into the rulebook recently, aligns with the International Committee Framework from November 2021, which gives individual sports federations the right to make their own rules for transgender athlete participation.

Given that the International Boxing Federation has yet to establish guidelines on transgender eligibility, USA Boxing says it prioritizes safety and competition that is “equal”. As stated in a release from August 2022, the federation mandates minors to compete in alignment with their birth-assigned gender. The policy further explains that there are testosterone thresholds for male and female boxers, with daily testing so that the playing field is constantly even.

For male-to-female transitioned boxers, eligibility hinges on a confirmed female gender identity and completion of gender reassignment surgery. These athletes must undergo regular hormone assessments and furnish USA Boxing with hormone level documentation for a minimum of 4 years post-surgery. The policy says that their testosterone levels must remain under a certain amount for a specified duration before and during their participation in the female category.

On the other hand, female-to-male transitioning boxers must maintain testosterone levels exceeding certain numbers to remain eligible. The policy’s strict monitoring includes athlete-funded hormone tests, with non-compliance resulting in a year-long suspension from female competition and subsequent re-evaluation.

Critics, including boxer Mikaela Mayer, argue that the policy’s allowance of hormone therapy compromises fairness. Mayer contends that such therapy should render transgender athletes ineligible, emphasizing the importance of a fair competitive landscape. Concerns also arise regarding potential advantages transgender female boxers might possess, posing safety risks to opponents.

Despite these concerns, USA Boxing has yet to provide further comments regarding the issue, maintaining that their regulations aim to ensure fairness and safety for all participants.

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