A transgender cyclist, who transitioned last year, has been banned from competing in the UK National Championships.
Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges has been declared ineligible to compete in the women’s event of the British National Omnium Championships this weekend.
Bridges was due to compete in Derby on Saturday in a field including five-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny.
The 21-year-old had been allowed to enter under British Cycling’s transgender and non-binary participation policy.
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But the organization has now said it has been told by the sport’s governing body, the UCI, that Bridges is not eligible.
The Guardian reported that Bridges had been told she had to wait until her current UCI registration as a male runner expired before she could re-register and compete as a woman.
“Under British Cycling’s transgender and non-binary participation policy, Emily Bridges was due to compete in the British Omnium National Championships,” British Cycling said in a statement.
“We have now been advised by the Union Cycliste Internationale that, under their current guidelines, Emily is not eligible to compete in this event.”
Bridges, who won the men’s points race at the British University and College Championships in Glasgow in February, started hormone therapy last year.
British Cycling regulations, updated in January this year, require riders to demonstrate low levels of testosterone for a period of 12 months before competition.
The initial decision to allow Bridges to run caused major controversy, with threats of a boycott from other runners if she were allowed to compete.
Critics say trans athletes have an unfair advantage even when testosterone levels have been lowered due to the impact of male puberty on the body.
“It wouldn’t have been fair to ask Laura Kenny and other female cyclists Bridges met to have to race with a rival with the benefits of a biological male,” said former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies.
“No amount of testosterone reduction can alleviate this, but we are told to turn a blind eye to science and biology, shut up and suck it all in.”