The International Olympic Committee has rejected requests for Laurel Hubbard, the first out trans athlete set to compete in the sporting event, to be disqualified. According to Reuters, the IOC president, Thomas Bach, confirmed that 43-year-old Hubbard was selected to represent New Zealand in accordance with strict guidelines, saying: “You cannot change the rules during an ongoing qualification system.”
He continued: “The rules for qualification have been established by the International Weightlifting Federation before the qualifications started…These rules apply, and you cannot change rules during ongoing competitions.” Since Hubbard qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, over 37,000 signed a petition to protest trans inclusion in the games.
Despite increasing hostility towards trans athletes, a 2021 study, published in Sports Medicine, found there is no evidence that gives reason as to why trans athletes should be banned from participating in sports. It stated that any advantages should be viewed not as evidence of unfair competition, but should be related to an athlete’s individual ability, and concluded that trans women should be “fairly integrated” into competitive sports.