A study published in the latest issue of British Journal of Sports Medicine has revealed that males who identify as transgender maintain an athletic advantage over female competitors even after a year of taking hormones to suppress testosterone.
Based on this information, some are calling on the International Olympic Committee to revise its transgender policies, which require just a 12-month waiting period for athletes taking cross-sex hormones before they are granted eligibility to compete.
Researchers followed the progress of 75 trans-identifying people of both sexes over the course of five years, assessing the number of pushups and situps each individual could perform in one minute, as well as the time it took each person to run 1.5 miles.
According to the study, males who identify as female performed 31% more pushups and 15% more situps in 1 minute before hormone use and ran 1.5 miles 21% faster than females. During the first two years of hormone use, males who identify as female were able to do 10% more pushups and 6% more situps than females. Following the two-year mark those numbers became “fairly equivalent,” Dr. Timothy Roberts, lead author of the study, told NBC News.
But when it came to running, even after two years of taking hormones, males who identify as female were still 12% faster.
Linda Blade, a founding member of the group Save Women’s Sports and an athletic coach from Alberta, Canada, told The Christian Post that male and female bodies are fundamentally different and no amount of hormones can change that.
“This study indicates that a one-year reduction in testosterone by a trans-ID male does little to eliminate the physical features acquired throughout childhood and puberty that offer immense competitive advantage,” Blade said.
She added: “It is clear that no amount of hormonal reduction or time in that state will cause reduction in structural enhancement such as bone size, heart size, neural adaptations, blood volume, lung capacity, upper body strength and other attributes that impact sport performance.”