'Disgusting': Megan Rapinoe lets rip over transgender athlete bans
Ballon d'Or winner and leading activist Megan Rapinoe has let rip at the sports that have banned transgender athletes from competition in recent days.
A number of codes, including swimming and rugby league, made the decision to ban or bring in extra restrictions for transgender athletes.
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On the weekend, FINA announced the huge decision to adopt a new “gender inclusion policy” over the weekend that only permits swimmers who transitioned before age 12 to compete in women’s events.
Swimming's governing body also proposed an "open competition category" specifically for transgender and other gender non-specific athletes.
Cycling also made a recent call, which resulted in transgender athletes having to wait longer before competing.
Since swimming's decision, the International Rugby League (IRL) followed in FINA's wake and banned athletes that have transitioned from male to female from international competition.
Now, leading women's equal rights activist Rapinoe has slammed FINA's ruling.
The US football legend said it was a 'disgusting' and 'cruel' decision against transgender women.
"We're (framing) everything through 'God forbid a trans person be successful in sports'. Get a grip on reality and take a step back," she told Time magazine.
CEO of Equality Australia Anna Brown shared Rapinoe's frustration.
"Blanket bans on women who are trans playing against other women risks violating international human rights principles of non-discrimination, which require such policies to start from a place of inclusion," Brown said in a statement.
"FINA failed to meet that standard, and the Rugby League’s ban also fails to do so, despite it being temporary."
FINA's transgender policy divides sport world
On the weekend, FINA made the decision to introduce an 'inclusion policy' that only permits swimmers who transitioned before age 12 to compete in women’s events.
The organisation also proposed an "open competition category" specifically for transgender and other gender non-specific athletes.
The new policy was passed by 71% of the vote across 152 FINA members and was described as "only a first step towards full inclusion" for trans athletes.
Australian Olympic greats Cate Campbell and Emily Seebohm are among the most high-profile swimmers to publicly endorse FINA's controversial new move.
Campbell, a triple Olympic gold medallist and former 100 metres freestyle world record holder, addressed the FINA congress before the vote on Monday morning AEDT.
While fellow Aussie swimmer Maddie Groves hit out at Campbell for endorsing FINA's decision.
Cycling also made a call on the weekend, which resulted in transgender athletes having to wait longer before competing.
The IRL followed on Tuesday.
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