A transgender runner has been told she is not allowed to compete in the US Olympic trials because she has not met World Athletics eligibility regulations.
While CeCe Telfer met the performance qualification standard for the women's 400m hurdles trial, she did not meet the eligibility rules for female transgender athletes established by World Athletics, USA Track and Field said in a statement.
The statement explained: ‘Following notification from World Athletics on June 17 that the conditions had not yet been met, USATF provided CeCe with the eligibility requirements and, along with World Athletics, the opportunity to demonstrate her eligibility so that she could compete at the US Olympic Team Trials. According to subsequent notification to CeCe from World Athletics on June 22, she has not been able to demonstrate her eligibility.’
'If [Telfer] meets the conditions for transgender athlete participation in the future,' however, USATF said it would 'wholeheartedly back her participation in international events as a member of Team USATF.'
Under rules brought forward in 2019, female transgender athletes must demonstrate that their concentration of testosterone has been continuously below five nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months. Athletes must meet these conditions to take part in the US trials and therefore take their place on the Olympic team.
Telfar’s agent, David McFarland, told CNN in a statement: ‘CeCe will respect USA Track & Field's decision on her eligibility to compete at the US Olympic Trials this Friday in Eugene. CeCe has turned her focus towards the future and is continuing to train. She will compete on the national – and world – stage again soon,’ he added.
Earlier this month, Telfer discussed her experience of sport growing up in a Women’s Health article. She said: ‘When trans youth are allowed to participate in sports, when coaches are able to accept and encourage them, they start to be seen as a person before being seen for their trans-ness. I'm a great athlete. I'm a Black woman. And I'm also a trans woman.’
‘Participation in sports gave me a place of belonging on a team and among peers. It helped me develop cooperative skills. It allowed me to spend time away from the parts of my life that were more difficult, where I had to pretend to be someone I wasn’t,’ she added.
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