Athlete Ally Responds to UKA Statement on Trans Athletes

February 6, 2023 — Today, Athlete Ally responded to United Kingdom Athletics (UKA)’s newly released position statement regarding transgender athlete participation, noting that UKA does not find sufficient scientific evidence to justify the use of testosterone suppression for transgender women and that transgender women should not be allowed in the women’s category and instead should compete in an “open” category. 

“As a lifelong advocate of women’s sport, promoting equity for women is about acknowledging and centering the challenges that all women athletes face, rather than siloing trans individuals through separate categories,” said Dr. Anna Baeth, Director of Research at Athlete Ally.  “Separate has never been equal – as we’ve seen with women athletes broadly. We should be centering the painstakingly documented issues that women and girls face in sports, like sexual assault, harassment, a lack of resources, a lack of  accessible and equitable training facilities, and equal pay.

The UKA’s position statement reflects a profound and dangerous misunderstanding of competitive advantage and fairness. It also fails to take into account breaking research and policies at the highest level of sport which affirm that transgender women do not have an inherent advantage in sport,” said Dr. Anna Baeth, Director of Research at Athlete Ally. “Women’s sports will be stronger when all women — including trans women — are protected from discrimination and when we can focus on the needs of all athletes, rather than on stigmatizing them through a false notion of separate yet equal.”   

“I am incredibly proud to have represented the UK on the global athletics stage, and I want transgender women in sports to have that same access and opportunity,” said Robyn Love, Great Britain Paralympian and Athlete Ally Ambassador. “I welcome transgender women as my teammates, and I hope to see UKA working towards a policy that truly centers inclusion for all.”