Swim England excludes trans swimmers from female category

Swim England excludes trans swimmers from female category
Apr 2023

Swim England excludes trans swimmers from female category

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

Swim England has updated its policy on transgender athletes so that they will no longer compete against female swimmers.

From 1 September, the female category will be restricted to swimmers born female.

Swim England has created a new 'open' category for competitors who are biologically male, transgender or non-binary.

It is the first update to Swim England's policy since 2015.

Swimming's governing body said it was making the changes in the interests of fairness.

"Peer-reviewed examples confirm the general consensus that post-puberty transgender females retain a biological level of performance advantage post-transition," it said.

"Whilst Swim England's existing policy regarding the use of hormonal therapy was found to be effective at reducing performance advantage, it was insufficient to negate it completely and trans females therefore likely retain an advantage over their cisgender peers.

"As a result, Swim England believes that the restriction of certain competition to birth sex females to be justified and proportionate in the pursuit of fair competition."

Last month, the World Athletics Council (WAC) revised its policy to stop trans-identifying biologically male athletes from competing in the female category in international athletic events.

The policy came into effect at the end of March following a consultation with athletes.

WAC President, Lord Sebastian Coe, said that the majority of those who participated in the consultation were against transgender athletes competing in the female category.

"Many believe there is insufficient evidence that trans women do not retain advantage over biological women," he said.

"Where the science is insufficient to justify maintaining testosterone suppression for transgender athletes, the council agreed it must be guided by our overarching principle, which is to protect the female category."