February 7, 2023 — Athlete Ally responded today to news that IRONMAN has announced a new policy for transgender athlete participation. IRONMAN will now align with World Triathlon’s ruleset regarding eligibility for transgender women to compete in the women’s divisions.
Transgender women, in order to be allowed to compete in the women’s division, must not have competed as a male in any triathlon, swimming, biking, athletics, or cross-country skiing event for a period of four years prior to entering a women’s field. Additionally, transgender women must maintain less than a 2.5 nMol/L testosterone level for two sequential years prior to receiving approval to compete. The rules regarding transgender men competing in the men’s category remain the same.
“A wait period of four years is not only unnecessary but also cruel for Ironman athletes who live and breathe their sport,” said Anne Lieberman, Director of Policy and Programs at Athlete Ally. “There is no data to back up a waiting period that long, and it only furthers the ways in which transgender athletes are being sidelined from the sports they love.”
“It’s heartbreaking to think that other athletes – some of whom came to multisport because they saw how I was accepted and embraced – are now being told they can’t participate in Ironman races until they wait 4 years, essentially missing almost an entire age group category,” said Chris Mosier, Founder of Transathlete.com, two-time National Champion and seven-time Team USA multisport athlete. “It’s a long wait that prevents them not only from participating in triathlons, but also swimming, biking, any running races, and even cross country skiing.
I figured out who I am and that I needed to live more authentically through my participation in triathlon and running. I can’t imagine being so deeply in love with a sport and then having to sit out for four years because that sport helped me with my understanding of self. It would feel like a piece of me was taken away.”