USA Boxing is facing criticism over a new transgender policy that allows trans women, who were born male, to compete in women's matches.
While the national governing body for boxing is under fire for not excluding transgender women altogether, the policy is among the strictest for trans athletes.
Released in USA Boxing’s 2024 rulebook, the policy states that in order for a trans athlete to compete, they must have undergone gender reassignment surgery and also submit quarterly hormone tests for at least four years following surgery.
Athletes under 18 years of age must compete as their birth gender.
The normal range of testosterone levels in males is defined as more than 10 nanomoles per litre (10 namol/L), and the normal range of testosterone for females is less than 3.1 nanomoles per litre (3.1 namol/L), according to USA Boxing.
With this in mind, a boxer who transitions from male to female is eligible to compete in the female category if her testosterone level in serum has been below 5 nmol/L for at least 48 months prior to her first competition.
A boxer who transitions from female to male must demonstrate a testosterone level in serum above 10 nmol/L for at least 48 months prior to his first competition.
Despite the stipulations, people shared their distaste with the policy on social media.
"USA Boxing wants to get women killed," Jenna Ellis, a conservative lawyer who served on former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign’s legal team, posted on X.
Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert echoed her sentiments.
"Let’s call this what it is. They’re going to allow men to beat women up in a boxing ring. This is pathetic and disgusting," Boebert wrote on X.
On the other hand, one user on X mocked the strictness of the policy.
"Oh, how progressive. Let's give a big round of applause to the boxing governing body for finally allowing transgender athletes to compete ... as long as they undergo invasive and potentially dangerous medical procedures and submit to humiliating and arbitrary hormone testing," X user Joe Maristela wrote. "Because nothing says ‘inclusion’ like forcing people to undergo surgery in order to participate in a sport."
Compliance with the conditions will be monitored by testing at the athlete’s expense. In the event of noncompliance, the trans athlete’s eligibility will be suspended for 12 months, and then retesting will be required.
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