November 21, 2023 — Athlete Ally responded today to news that International Cricket Council has adopted a new policy effectively banning transgender women from competition.
The ICC has stated that the policy is “based on the following principles (in order of priority), protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion, and this means any Male to Female participants who have been through any form of male puberty will not be eligible to participate in the international women’s game regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken.”
Athlete Ally believes that sports should be fair and accessible to all. We are deeply concerned by International Cricket Council’s policy banning transgender women from competing in international competitions because it is motivated by politics, not by science or by true interest in centering athlete health and safety. At the most elite levels, policies to promote fairness have been in place for decades, with no issue.
We also know from the most current science on transgender women in elite sport that being transgender does not give an athlete an inherent advantage, and that transgender athletes are underrepresented and face significant barriers within sport. Policies like the ICC’s that ban transgender women are motivated by misinformation and fear. Leading voices for women’s sports, including The Women’s Sports Foundation, agree that protecting the integrity of women’s sports entails addressing unequal pay, rampant sexual abuse, and a lack of resources for women athletes — and that targeting transgender athletes does nothing to address these issues. The sexism underlying these policies hurts all women, and we support the rights of all women to compete in women’s sports.