Over 28,000 have signed a change.org petition to protest the participation of trans weightlifter, Laurel Hubbard, in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. 43-year-old Hubbard, who will be the first-ever out trans athlete to compete in the international sporting event, was confirmed to be joining the games last month. She will be in the 87kg weightlifting category after becoming eligible to enter the Olympics in 2015 when the regulations on trans athletes were amended.
However, the petition argues that the current Olympic regulations on trans athletes “completely ignore the physical advantages in speed, height, stamina and strength that a male-born athlete will have.” It continued to say that trans inclusion in the games will “make a mockery” of cisgender athletes and that it is “indefensible” to allow trans women to participate alongside cis women.
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.